Transit Network Improvements Project

The Transit Network Improvements Project was designed to reshape transit service in Red Deer with plans for new routes as well as improving quality, comfort, connection and safety.

The City of Red Deer’s transit system is a key part of its transportation network, and in collaboration with the community, The City of Red Deer designed the Transit Network Improvements project to create an action plan to reshape the City’s transit services and create the foundation for further transit improvements.

The Transit Network Improvements Project is currently in the implementation stage. A new transit network, developed based on public feedback, is set to launch August 23, 2020 and will offer more direct service and improved connections throughout the city. More information is available on the City in Motion webpage.

The following information offers background about the Transit Network Improvement Project:

Transit Network Improvement Project FAQs

What is the Transit Network Improvements Project?

The Transit Network Improvements Project was about determining where and how transit is delivered and routed to best meet the needs of Red Deerians and transit riders in our region as it grows and changes. 

The first phase of the Red Deer Transit Network Improvements project – which went before Council on October 28, 2019 – included delivery of five initiatives, as follows: 

  • Updated Transit Services Standards, which create the framework for future decision making and define what service should look like going forward (service frequencies and hours of service for different service types, passenger amenities that should be provided at stops, stop spacing, policies, etc.).
  • New Bus Route Network and Service Plan to determine how routes could be better structured to serve customers and the growing community and what service should ultimately look like over the longer term.
  • Transit Operating and Capital Work Plan to create the step-by-step prioritized plan for investing in service, infrastructure and other supporting improvements, including what should be considered for immediate / short term implementation.
  • Development of a Rapid Bus Corridor on Gaetz Avenue to identify where Rapid Bus stations should be placed, what they should look like and what transit priority measures should be implemented on the corridor to help buses move around congestion and operate reliably (queue jump lanes, transit signal priority, etc.).
  • Review and Recommendation on Regional Transit Service Connections looking at how regional service ties into the new local network and how they can also be improved. 

We are now moving forward with the second phase of the project, which includes the detailed planning and related infrastructure changes, which were part of 2020 capital budget approvals, with the planned implementation of the new route structure taking place August 23, 2020.

How does this project relate to the Multimodal Transportation Plan?

The Transit Network Improvements Project seeks to translate the broad vision identified for transit in The City’s Multimodal Transportation Plan into the series of actionable steps needed to move the plan from vision to implemented reality. The Multimodal Transportation Plan identifies a number of outcomes for each transportation mode to describe what a future user of the transportation system will experience in Red Deer.

The overall goal of the Multimodal Transportation Plan is to improve the safety, quality, comfort, and connection of all modes, ultimately providing more choice for citizens in how they move around Red Deer.

What was meant by quality, comfort, connection, safety and accessibility, and efficiency and effectiveness?
  • Quality - Offers more direct and less circuitous routes, making it easier to travel across the City without having to transfer downtown;
  • Comfort- Offers higher frequency services to the highest ridership stops and destinations;
  • Connection - Better enables citizens to more easily move between neighbourhoods and the length of the City without having to transfer downtown; and offers a mix of service types to meet different passenger needs that also link to other ways of getting around Red Deer on foot, by bicycle and by automobile.
  • Safety and Accessibility –Includes further opportunities to improve passenger amenities at stops, including universally accessible stops clear of debris and snow/ice, as well as well-lit stops with garbage bins; and providing longer hours of service on the Rapid Bus and Core routes to enable more citizens to have access to jobs, school, services, and social and recreation opportunities.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness –Better matches service to higher demand areas and times, as well as creates a network that can better serve future community growth. Depending on ridership there will be the opportunity to right size the fleet and introduce smaller CNG buses.
Was the public consulted for this project?

Yes, there was significant public engagement involved in this project: 

  • Validation phase (April – July 2019): This phase of public participation looked to validate the overall project values of safety, quality, comfort, and connection established in the Multimodal Transportation Plan. Included input from Council, conversations at Let’s Talk, an online survey and on-bus surveys. Over 460 people participated in this phase of the public engagement. 
  • Develop Alternatives/Options Phase (September 2019): A multifaceted approach to public participation and stakeholder engagement activities was carried out from the end of August through the third week in September. Included an online survey, stakeholder consultation and a series of eight travelling open houses at various locations across the city. Over 760 people participated in this phase of the public engagement.

Since Council approval in October 2019 and during the implementation planning process, further input was also received from passengers, citizens, stakeholders and transit staff. This input as well as detailed scheduling and operational testing of the new routes also helped shape the new network proposed for implementation on August 23, 2020. See City in Motion for more information on the upcoming new services as well as a survey so that we can continue to get your feedback and refine the new network.

Read the Summary of Public Engagement Results (pdf) .

What other improvements are planned as part of this project?

A number of future infrastructure improvements are proposed to support the development of the Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus route to best service passengers and keep the Rapid Bus moving as reliably as possible. This includes improvements such as lengthening turn bays to provide additional space for vehicles waiting to turn, installation of left-turn signals at key locations, and the construction of a third southbound through-lane on Gaetz Avenue in two locations (42 St to 34 St and 30 St to 22 St). These improvements will not only support the Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus route, but will also improve the transportation network for other motorists as well.

These proposed improvements are subject to landowner consultations and future budget approvals.

Proposed Gaetz Avenue Infrastructure Improvements (pdf)