WHEREAS the Capital Region Board regulation dated April 13, 2008 and amended March 15, 2010 reflect intermunicipal transit as a priority focus of the Capital Region Board; and
WHEREAS approval of the Capital Region Growth Plan submitted on March 31, 2009 with subsequent addenda on October 31, 2009 and December 31, 2009, and approved on March 30, 2010 included an Intermunicipal Transit Network Plan with a Vision, short, medium and long term implementation focus for intermunicipal transit, as well as a decision making process, procedures for implementing, provisions for specialized transit and methods for reviewing and monitoring; and
WHEREAS the Province of Alberta formally announced on June 22, 2010 the GreenTRIP grant program involving a commitment of $2.0B provincially to improve access to public transit and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by moving commuters out of individual automobiles into high occupancy transit vehicles; and
WHEREAS the Capital Region Board delivered through its Regional Transit Committee a prioritized list of recommended GreenTRIP applications and approved it for submission to the province by November 12, 2010; and
WHEREAS the Alberta Transportation bus modernization initiative announced on June 27, 2011 increases regulation and oversight of regional commuter bus service, and requires that Operating Authority Certificate (OAC) applications be completed by September 9, 2011, by contracted service operators (eg: ETS) and on behalf of contractees (eg: Sturgeon County); and
WHEREAS the Alberta Transportation bus modernization initiative creates unintended but costly and disruptive impacts through its requirement for additional maintenance, inspection and administrative costs, logistics and passenger risk mitigation strategy; and
WHEREAS the Alberta Transportation bus modernization initiative requires that all regional (cross border) public transit comply with the province’s Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation by October 1, 2016, where no such compliant mass-produced public transit vehicle is currently available, nor is one contemplated by North American urban transit bus manufacturers;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Municipal Districts and Counties work with Alberta Transportation to revisit the timing and requirements of the bus modernization initiative to ensure that:
The AAMDC has no active resolutions pertaining to this issue.
Alberta Transportation will continue to require Operating Authority Certificates by contracted service operators on behalf of contractors in the delivery of regional transit.
Additional maintenance inspections and administrative costs should not be incurred. The department wants regional transit operators to submit a copy of their current regimes and to demonstrate that they were and remain effective.
With respect to passenger and risk mitigation strategies, regional transit operators need only to submit the current framework for risk mitigation to assure the department there is an equivalent level of safety.
Alberta Transportation supports public transit for the capital region and contributes to public transit through a variety of grant programs, including the Green Transit Incentives Program. Alberta Transportation will work with the AAMDC to ensure bus modernization does not adversely impact the viability and attractiveness of public transit as a transportation option for commuters in Alberta.
While it is promising that the government wants to account for and acknowledge the work done to date in municipalities regarding bus service, the lack of commitment to revisit the timing and requirement as it pertains to administrative costs and overweight certificates makes this response Unsatisfactory.