Edmonton’s ambitious transit plans have hit a small speed bump. After a decade of yearly growth, ridership has slipped in the last two years.
The city’s senior transit planning engineer, Andrew Gregory, tells Global News they saw a drop in bus rides, although the Metro Line helped increase LRT traffic.
“Our ridership has decreased almost one per cent in the past year,” says Gregory. “We still attracted around 88 million riders. We did notice a big difference in LRT as we opened up three new stations last year.”
Gregory blames a slower economy, because fewer people have jobs they need to get to.
“Definitely with the economic downturn, there’s been less activity around the city and surrounding areas. It’s definitely played a role in how people travel in the city, but we do expect it to pick up in the future.”
He expects adding smart buses and offering low-income transit passes will give ridership a bump.
“We expect ridership will increase within in the next couple of years. This year has still been a bit challenging, but we do anticipate that things will pick up again.” (bd)