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Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Transit Local Service Growth - Levasseur
Planning & Infrastructure
Strategic Vision Element:
Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life
Spruce Grove is a well-planned city, with a high ease of community connectivity and mobility for transportation and walkability.
Request for Decision Summary
Transit Local Service Growth was originally planned to include the purchase of five buses for local service. Three of the five buses were delivered in Spring 2019. With a postponement of service growth until at least 2021, even with Stony Plain introducing local service to connect with Spruce Grove in the fall of 2020, the purchase of one additional bus will provide the sufficient spare ratio for current and short term needs.
That the 2020-2022 Corporate Plan initiative CE507 - Transit System Growth- Local Service, be amended to purchase one bus in 2020; and
that Administration be directed to bring forward any financial implications that may be required through a spring budget adjustment.
The 2014 Report,
Expansion of Transit Services and Park and Ride Development: Business case to support application for GreenTRIP funding, envisioned the introduction of local service as the final phase of the plan.
The Tri-Municipal Regional Transit Plan has further refined the implementation of local transit service in the City of Spruce Grove. In the initial stage there would be a circular route and a west end and east end connector that would allow transit riders in the Harvest Ridge and the Greenbury/Spruce Ridge Communities to connect with the commuter bus. In time, the Town of Stony Plain would contract Spruce Grove to provide local service through Stony Plain and into Spruce Grove. Parkland County would initiate service from Parkland Village to Spruce Grove and possibly on to Stony Plain.
In September 2019, local service was launched using the two connector and the daytime circle routes to link the Walmart shopping area with the Century Crossing Shopping area and service to the downtown core. Ridership has been increasing every month on average at 8% per month. The original plan was to increase the circle route to all day service (6:00 am to 6:30 pm) to connect the entire city during the morning and afternoon peaks. This was postponed starting in September 2021 to September 2022. Introduction of weekend service is postponed indefinitely.
In September 2020, Stony Plain will introduce local/inter-municipal service between Stony Plain and Spruce Grove. While this plan is being prepared, determination of routes in Stony Plain are being discussed through public consultation. The current plan suggests an intersection point at the Tri-Leisure transit stop.
Currently the City of Spruce Grove has three local buses and each of them are in use generally every day. Service can be provided by one bus between 9:30 am and 3:00 pm; however, there is a need for one additional fully functioning bus to serve as a spare so that service and breakdowns can maintain the service level within the fleet requirements.
With Stony Plain starting up service in September 2020 plans for the spare bus would be to service as spare ratio for the two they are purchasing as well. Spruce Grove will recover costs for use of this bus when required. Each bus is required to have a commercial vehicle inspection twice per year.
In 2021, Parkland County wants to initiate local service from Parkland Village to Spruce Grove to connect to the commuter bus. With this additional service the spare bus will be pulled into part time service.
The original plan called for the purchase of two buses both in 2020 and the purchase of one bus in 2020 is recommended. Deferring the second bus indefinitely would reduce the budget requirement and would eliminate the operational costs should the bus not be required. By eliminating the second bus the City would be reducing the GreenTRIP grant assigned to the second bus of 66.6%. Based upon current needs these funds would be better spent on additional commuter resources or the Park & Ride. Of note, the GreenTRIP Grant funding window will be coming to end. All grant purchases must be submitted by February 2022.
Council may choose to proceed with the original proposal outlined in 2020-2022 Corporate Plan initiative CE507, which was to purchase five transit buses. As three buses were already delivered in Spring 2019, this would mean that two buses will be purchased in 2020. Should Council wish to proceed with this option, they may do so using the following motion:
That the update on 2020-2022 Corporate Plan initiative CE507 - Transit System- Local Service be received as information.
We have been in consultation with the Town of Stony Plain and their order for two buses went in early January 2020. They are expecting delivery in June or July. We have met with Parkland County to determine what their plans are for service into Parkland Village. They do not wish to purchase a bus but rather contract Spruce Grove for the anticipated service level.
We have been in contact with Crestline Coach, the successful bidder from the local bus RFP in 2019, regarding costs and delivery times. If an order is placed by mid-April we can expect a delivery by late October - November. Crestline will honour the pricing offered to Stony Plain to the City of Spruce Grove, so long as they have a chassis available.
With Council approval we would issue a purchase order for the bus. Upon delivery the invoice wouuld be paid and a claim would be made to Alberta Transporation for GreenTRIP funding. Depending upon delivery, we will arrage for smart bus/smart fare equipment to be installed.
The purchase of one bus would ensure that we have sufficent spare ratio for Spruce Grove and Stony Plain's operations. With Parkland County the same fleet size should be able to accommodate trips between Spruce Grove and Parkland Village. Use of this bus by Parkland County and/or Stony Plain would be on a cost recovery basis for the hours in use. By only purchasing one bus instead of two, the City would save $236,000. Of this total the GreenTRIP would save $157,176 and $78,824 in planned MSI Grant would be available for other projects.
By choosing to purchase one bus instead of two, the City would save $236,000. This bus was proposed to be funded by $157,176 of GreenTRIP funding and $78,824 of Municipal Sustainability Initiative funds. This saving would free up these grant dollars to be used for other purposes.