Red Deer Transit: City in Motion

City in Motion: Transit Route Realignment

New Service Launches August 23 

Red Deer Transit is getting ready to launch new realigned routes this August following public consultation and planning last fall. 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.

You can now view the new detailed schedules and route maps and provide feedback on how we can continue to improve the service going forward.

What's being implemented

The new system structure is based on public feedback heard through the Transit Network Improvement project (TNIP) completed in 2019. The new network creates a foundation for further transit improvements by improving the directness of routes and offering new connections between neighbourhoods. It also enables the system to put a higher level of service where it is needed most, such as on Gaetz Avenue.

The route realignment features a new Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus which will run the full length of the Gaetz Avenue corridor, as well as new core routes connecting the highest ridership stops and destinations. Two new transit hubs at Bower Place (along Bennett Street and Gaetz Avenue) and Kingston Drive (west of Gaetz Avenue) will provide connection points in the north and south end, reducing the need for riders to transfer downtown. The new network also offers neighbourhood routes that provide more coverage within residential areas and commuter routes, with continued Action Bus service to meet different passenger needs.

Be Part of the Change

Provide feedback on the new routes and schedules so that we can consider it to further refine the service as full levels ramp up and resume.
Fill out the survey

Access one-on-one help in planning your trip by contacting Transit’s customer information at 403-342-8225 or Transit@reddeer.ca.

What will the new route structure look like?

Rather than operating the same level of service on all routes regardless of ridership—like the current system—the new route structure is made up of layers of different types of routes that work together to serve different needs and ridership levels.

You can view the new Route Overview Map - all regular Transit routes (pdf) or learn more about the individual routes, their schedules and their maps.

Map of Transit sytem overview

The new route structure has been designed to include the following route types:

  • Route 1 Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus offers the highest level of service and runs north-south from one end of the city to the other. It is the new major spine for our network.
  • Core Routes (Routes 2, 3 and 4) are as direct as possible, support the Rapid Bus and also provide longer hours of service and better frequency than the Neighbourhood routes. They serve the highest ridership areas and major destinations in the City, including Red Deer College, Red Deer Regional Hospital, and many recreation centres, schools and shopping areas. The new 2 Crosstown which will also now connect the City's north west, north east and south east areas to each other without having to transfer downtown.
  • Neighbourhood Routes (Routes 10-16) provide more coverage within neighbourhoods and connect with the 1 Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus and Core routes at Sorensen Station and the new Kingston and Bower Transit Hub. These routes continue to serve many of the existing residential stops as the current system. (Route 12 Gasoline Alley will continue to operate every 30 minutes, but its departure times from the Bower Hub will be adjusted to better connect with the new Red Deer Transit routes.)
  • Commuter Routes (Routes 18 and 19) provide service on weekday peak-times-only to the Riverside and Edgar Industrial areas.

A number of routes from the prior system will remain unchanged, as follows:

  • School Services:  Red Deer Transit will continue to offer service to local school boards. School routes remain the same, but The City will continue working with both school boards to see if they need adjusting based on school district plans for September.

Action Bus will continue to operate throughout the City (and some areas of the County – funded by Red Deer County) to provide door-to-door service for eligible, registered users unable to use the fully accessible fixed route system some or all of the time.

How do the service levels for the new network compare with those currently in place?

The new routes will launch with service levels similar to what has been offered throughout COVID-19. However, the new route structure enables us to increase the frequencies of some routes serving higher ridership areas and times. You can now view the new detailed schedules and route maps.

The summary of initial August 23 route frequencies will be as follows:

  • The 1 Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus route and the 2 Crosstown core route will provide service every 30 minutes, Monday to Sunday.
  • The core routes 3 Hospital – College and 4 Glendale – South East will provide service every 30 minutes during peak times Monday to Saturday and hourly at all other times.
  • Commuter routes 18 Riverside Industrial and 19 Edgar Industrial will provide 30-minute service during weekday peak times only (excluding Statutory holidays).
  • All other neighbourhood routes within the City will operate hourly, in line with current COVID-related service levels.
  • Route 12 Gasoline Alley will continue to operate every 30 minutes, but its departure times from the Bower Hub will be adjusted to better connect with the new Red Deer Transit routes.
  • Routes 103/104 2A Regional Service will continue to using the existing schedules.

In keeping with current COVID-19 hours of service, routes will generally operate from approximately 6:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and from 9:00am to 8:00pm on Sundays and Holidays (subject to change as required).

As the impacts of the pandemic lessen and demand for transit increases, Red Deer’s new transit network will offer additional frequency and longer hours of service. The new routes will launch at the current service level, with hours of service similar to what has been offered throughout COVID-19. As the impacts of the pandemic lessen and demand for transit increases, Red Deer’s new transit network will offer additional frequency and longer hours of service.

Will school service change?

Red Deer Transit will continue to offer service to local school boards. School service and bus stops remain the same, but The City will continue working with both school boards to see if they need adjusting based on school district plans for September.

Will Action Bus service change?

No, there are no planned changes to Action Bus service.

Will Sunday and Holiday service change?

The August 23 changes enable higher frequencies and longer hours of service on the Rapid Bus and some Core routes on Sundays and holidays within the current COVID levels of service.  As the impacts of the pandemic lessen, the new route structure will enable further planned improvements to Sunday and holiday frequencies and hours of service across more routes within Transit’s current operational budget.

Will transit fares be changing?

No, there are no fare changes planned at this time. Any potential future fare changes would be considered as part of The City’s annual budget process.

Why are we moving forward with implementing the revised system during COVID-19?

Continuing with the implementation at reduced frequency allows us to test and adapt the new system while ridership is low. Ultimately, this new system will better serve and connect the community within existing resources.

Will we be able to offer feedback on the new route system?

Please provide feedback on the new routes and schedules so that we can consider it to further refine the service as full levels ramp up and resume.

Will existing stops still be used with the new route network?

The new network carefully considered where ridership was occurring and primarily uses existing stops. Stops that align with the new route system will continue to be used, and some new stops may be added. Stops no longer in line with the new routes will be decommissioned.

For information about bus stops please review the new transit route maps and schedules.

Will the current walking distance to transit stops be affected?

We often hear that our existing system is too circuitous and time consuming. By straightening out routes and making them more direct, we can offer more service to our existing riders as well as make the system more attractive to new customers.

With the move away from the current system to one that is more direct and less circuitous, there are tradeoffs that need to be recognized. More direct routes (e.g. straight lines) can result in less coverage into some neighbourhoods where the transportation network can be more circuitous. This means that some people may need to walk further to access transit service with the proposed route network than they currently do.

How does this fit in with the longer term strategy for transit?

The system redesign is an outcome of the Transit Network Improvements project, which was completed in 2019 and was undertaken in support of achieving the objectives of the Multimodal Transportation Plan - Moving Red Deer Forward (pdf) . The route realignment is the first step that creates the foundation for future transit improvements and was designed to work within existing transit system resources.

What is the cost associated with changing the routes and schedules?

There is no operational cost increase associated with implementing the immediate transit network changes. Existing resources will be reallocated to better match service to ridership level, within Transit's existing operational budget.

Will the Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus reduce travel lanes for other vehicles?

The implementation of the Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus route does not include dedicated bus lanes – buses will continue to travel in the same lanes as other vehicles. To keep transit reliable and efficient, over the next few years other potential planned improvements consist of transit signal priority measures, which use technology to reduce delays at traffic signals. This provides a balanced approach to increasing the reliability of transit service along the Gaetz Avenue corridor, with minimal impacts to other motorists. 

Contact Us

Have questions about the upcoming Red Deer Transit route realignment or need assistance in planning your trip? Contact the project team: