On-It Regional Transit reached two key milestones for implementing the south sub-regional pilot service starting fall 2016.
1. The Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) and four participating municipalities, through a collaborative process, reached an agreement on the full participation of those municipalities.
2. The CRP also reached an agreement with Southland Transportation, the successful bidder. Southland will provide buses and operators through a private/public partnership and contract.
These key milestones represent major steps towards our vision of connecting communities and improving the quality of life for regional commuters.
The regional transit launch allows regional commuters to relax and enjoy the ride into Calgary as someone else takes the wheel.
Regional commuters will enjoy a safe and comfortable ride on a coach style bus that provides the following amenities:
On-It Regional Transit, a Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) initiative, is a key piece of a complete regional mobility system including other forms of transportation such as cycling.
On-It will be piloted in collaboration with the municipalities of:
“Regional thinking is about practical changes, not just ideas,” says CRP Executive Director Colleen Shepherd. “It’s also about businesses, governments and organizations working together. On-It started as an idea. Now it’s going to change the commutes of people from the pilot municipalities.”
Launching in Fall 2016, On-It Regional Transit Service transports passengers to and from these communities to the Somerset-Bridlewood LRT station in south Calgary.
In order for regional customers to get to the LRT station, they have the option of purchasing single one-way fares and monthly passes.
Among its many benefits is the promise of a safe, low-cost, efficient and stress-free commute.
“Getting to work in comfort and getting home safely while reducing commuting costs and helping the environment is what the On-It two-year pilot project will accomplish,” says CRP’s Regional Transit Program Manager Ettore Iannacito. “We do have bigger plans for On-It. The entire vision of On-It Regional Transit hinges on developing a forward-thinking solution.”
And it’s not a one-way trip: Calgarians can hop aboard an On-It bus to make the commute to Okotoks.
In addition to residents within the four participating municipalities, Calgary residents will have the option of choosing among 4 trips in the morning and 4 in the afternoon to and from Okotoks.
In the future, the On-It brand will encompass a complete mobility system that includes regional transit service, connecting walkways, bike paths, and transit hubs.
The system allows users to choose where they want to go and how they want to get there. The brand’s vision also supports the key principals within the regional smart growth plan.
In the future, On-It plans to be a component of a complete mobility system connecting walkways, bike paths, bus routes and transit hubs.
Moving people efficiently is critical, as the population of the Calgary Region is expected to balloon to around three million by 2073.
Significantly higher from its current level of more than a million.
“As we look to the future of the Calgary region, comprehensive, connected and affordable public-transportation options will be vital to meeting the needs of a growing population,” says High River Councillor Emile Blokland.
The commute from the participating municipalities into Calgary can be time-consuming.
Not to mention stressful.
On-It offers a relaxing journey during which commuters can read, safely text, get a jump on the workday or enjoy a catnap.
“To have this service available is exceptional and will make life easier for many people. We are proud to be a part of this pilot public-transportation program that offers options to our residents while keeping our communities connected,” says Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson, who is also chair of the CRP.
His comments are echoed by Black Diamond Councilor Ruth Goodwin and Turner Valley Councilor Dona Fluter.
“Residents will now have a viable, affordable and convenient option to travel between our community and neighbouring communities,” Goodwin says. “When an On-It rider gets home after work, they haven’t had to spend two to three hours of their day in traffic or dealing with seasonal bad roads and inclement weather. This is a choice and lifestyle that works for many.”
Adds Fluter: “This will enable us to be more connected to our neighbours. And that connectivity and the economic and environmental advantages can be realized not only by individuals, but employers and the region as a whole as well.”
Southland Transportation was the successful bidder to help deliver the service for the On-It regional transit system for the duration of the two-year pilot.
Initially, the service will operate at peak hours in the morning and afternoon into early evening.
“A private-public partnership such as this has an abundance of advantages — transit service with a personalized customer service approach, a team of operations personnel with an ownership mentality and a commitment to safety that is unsurpassed,” says Southland Transportation’s Regional Director, Murray Glass.
“Seeing the municipalities working together to build a modern and sustainable transit system that decreases roadway congestion and environmental impact, while increasing the communities’ employment opportunities and access to services, is of great significance.”
Colleen Shepherd, the CRP’s Executive Director, is pleased to engage the private sector.
“Our goal is to enhance business opportunities in our region by creating public-private partnerships as we evolve our regional system. Working with Southland Transportation to deliver the On-It pilot project is the first step toward that goal.”
The Calgary Regional Partnership On-It team will be in your community this summer, getting in touch with residents and signing up interested commuters for service updates. Look for the On-It pop-up tent and enter to win a free ride on On-It.