Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking for Input on Transit

As part of our efforts to improve public transportation the City is running a survey to hear your point of view!

Council agreed with me during the budget discussion that the service needs to be expanded - we included purchasing new busses in the 2008 - 2010 budget.

Now we are looking to you the help plan the service. Tell us what you think!

News Release
February 20, 2008

Transit Survey Drives Master Plan

Grande Prairians can have their say on the future of transit service in the community.

A survey on the City's website,, allows transit users and non-customers to provide input, which will be key to finalizing the Transit Master Plan, due for completion by mid-year. Residents are asked to complete the survey by Feb. 29.

GP Transit is working with iTrans Consulting Inc., of Richmond Hill, ON, on the Master Plan, which will address existing and potential new routes, environmental issues, bus replacement schedule, staffing levels, bus shelter placement, and possible transfer terminal sites.

"This survey is part of a comprehensive study we are doing leading up to the Master Plan being finalized," says Audra McKinley, Acting Transit Co-ordinator.

"We have been working on its development since last September and the information from this survey will be very important as it gives participants the opportunity to drive the Master Plan and have a say in future growth in the system.

"We want to know what existing riders like about the service and what they would like to see improved. We also want non-users to tell us why they don't use the service and what would encourage them to do so."

On the online survey, existing users are asked to provide information on how far they need to walk from home to the nearest bus stop, the three main reasons they use GP Transit, and the four improvements that would encourage them to use bus service more frequently.

Non-customers are asked to cite their most frequent mode of transportation, the four main reasons they don't use GP Transit, how close the nearest bus stop is to their home, and what features would encourage them to use the service.

All respondents are asked to comment on the current $2 fare and to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a series of statements. Survey participants are also requested to cite the three most important destinations for transit service and to provide some demographic information.

Respondents can also include commentary on overall service improvements.

Results will be combined with data collected by staff and the outcome of an on-board survey conducted last fall, which indicated passengers are happy overall with the service.

Participants in that survey asked for scheduling improvements, longer hours and an expansion of service areas.

The Transit Master Plan was last updated in 2004. Information quickly became outdated with rapid growth in the City. The new plan will provide direction on expanding service as Grande Prairie arrives at new population levels.

Information from the Integrated Student Transportation Plan, being developed in partnership with the Public and Catholic school systems, will feed into the City's plan.

Four new buses are being introduced in 2008. Two of these will be replacements and two will be new, allowing for additional routes to be developed.

Media enquiries may be directed to:
Audra McKinley
Acting Transit Co-ordinator

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