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RFD- 3851 Business Items   Item #:   4. b.    
Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/18/2020  
Title:    Edmonton Regional Transit Service Commission - Levasseur
Presenter: Patrick Inglis
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: Spruce Grove is a well-planned city, with a high ease of community connectivity and mobility for transportation and walkability.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
The final report of the Edmonton Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC) was released on January 22, 2020. This extensive report details the business case, financial model, governance structure, operating model, transit service standards, and implementation plan for the creation of an Edmonton regional transit model after formation of the Commission. In reviewing the report, administration had some concerns that were discussed with council. Since these were raised a series of meetings brought new information and clarification that helped to address many of these concerns.

Proposed Motion
That the report on the Regional Transit Service Commission be received for information.
Background/Analysis
On January 22, 2020 the final report of the Edmonton RTSC,  Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission was released to the public and is currently available on the City of Spruce Grove website. The attached report, in brief includes comments based on previous discussions with council regarding administration’s concerns as well as some possible alternate operating models. The attached also makes reference to more detailed information which is provided in the final report.  After these concerns were raised, additional information and clarification has been made through meetings with Ernst & Young (E&Y), the RTSC Transition Team,  as well as other meetings throughout the capital region. As a result of these discussions, concerns raised have been addressed.
 
Council should consider financial, social, environmental and political impacts when deciding to join or not join the RTSC. The City of Spruce Grove can attest to the power of partnerships through our work with tri-region municipalities. Taking this forward to the greater region provides many advantages and economies of scale for all participants. For example, a single call centre that provides accurate information for all citizens for both local and inter-municipal service or a single organization that can create a bus specification and procure on a region wide basis that will save time, effort and costs. The desire to unify the capital region, as articulated in the 2016 Mayors Alliance Report, "Be ready or be left behind" illustrated that the way to building economic diversity and growth is to work as a single region and not as competing municipalities.With the implementation of Smart Fare and Smart Bus, transit riders will experience a seamless experience from anywhere in the region. 
Options/Alternatives
Although only one transit model has been formulated for the RTSC, the eventual route planning and delivery will require extensive public consultation and coordination, which will take place starting in 2021. In the meantime if adjustments to routes are required, they can still be made. Changes or alterations to operating models that could affect commuter or local service would require coordination with the commission to ensure continuity throughout the system in preparation for operation in 2022. 
Consultation/Engagement
There has been consultation with the consultant (E&Y), the Spruce Grove transition team, the regional transition team, Capital Region CAOs, and with our tri-municipal partners (Stony Plain and Parkland County).
Implementation/Communication
At the regular council meeting on March 9, 2020, discussion over the RTSC proposal and a vote whether to join will take place.
Impacts
The impact of the creation of the RTSC will be significant. A number of Canadian and U.S. municipalities have formed transit commissions over the past 100 years. Once established, their benefits appear to be significant and not one, that we are aware of, has been disbanded. The Toronto Transit Commission, which is 100 years old in 2020, is among the oldest and is one of Canada's largest. Bow Valley Transit Commission serving Canmore, Banff and Improvement District #9 has been very successful over the past nine years. Previous reports indicate that there could be an initial increase in costs, but once established these costs level off and the benefits are significant. The commission, with board members being made up of elected officials, will ensure that the principles that have been established for the RTSC are sustained.

Attachments
RTSC Report
RTSC Presentation

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

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