By Ruby Gill, Digital Marketing and Communications Advisor, CRP
On March 21st, at a conference in Red Deer, the Calgary Regional Partnership’s (CRP) regional transit pilot project received a bold indication that it’s on the right track.
The Alberta Transportation Minister’s Award for Innovation was awarded to the On-It Regional Transit Pilot project from a field of twenty-nine other nominees across six categories, at the Tri-Party Transportation Conference.
The awards evaluation committee consisted of representatives from:
The On-it Regional Transit Pilot project was the winner for the Transit and Accessible Transportation Innovations category which was the first year that this category has been included.
“I found that when the participating municipalities were part of the project in a collaborative way and not just a part of the process, this was a huge component of developing the On-it Regional Transit Pilot into an innovative project every step of the way. Now we know it didn’t go unnoticed!” says CRP Chair and Mayor of Okotoks, Bill Robertson.
The winners for On-it Regional Transit Pilot project was the Calgary Regional Partnership, Town of Okotoks, Town of High River, Town of Black Diamond, Town of Turner Valley and Town of Nanton.
“We need to not just embrace change – but celebrate it. The Minister’s Awards for Transportation innovation do just that. They celebrate transportation innovations, large or small, that are paving the way toward a more efficient, sustainable and safer transportation system in our province,” says Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure,” Brian Mason.
Future users of the On-it Regional Transit Pilot project can be satisfied knowing they will be using an award winning transit system that has been recognized for innovation.
This kind of feedback and validation, so early on in the project, is encouraging.
With this recognition, CRP and the participating municipalities will look to continue developing the On-it regional transit system as it moves to service implementation in September.
“To say that we’re gratified is an understatement,” Regional Transit Program Manager Ettore Iannacito said. “This program has been moving forward at a great pace, with the support of many involved communities, and this recognition by the Transportation Minister confirms, for the CRP and all of the people we serve, that we’re building the future of regional transit in this province.
The Minister’s Award, aimed to reward innovations that are “paving the way toward a more efficient, sustainable and safer transportation system in our province,” went to the CRP’s On-it Regional Transit Pilot project in the area of Excellence for Transit/Accessible Transportation Innovation.
The CRP, through On-It, is bringing regional transit to communities in the Calgary Region.
Dona Fluter, Turner Valley Councillor and CRP transit steering committee member, says the award covers work the CRP has been building on for years.
“What we’ve really been going for since the beginning is a change in transit culture to go along with the infrastructure that we’re building in partnership with these communities,” says CRP Executive Director Colleen Shepherd.
“Travelling by transit all over the Calgary Region will have a major positive impact not just on commuting, but on our economy, and how we live. This award really means a lot to us. Our efforts to become a conduit of information and progress for the entire region will have an effect on the province as a whole, moving forward.”
The On-It Pilot project is a grassroots project co-created by and for the municipalities. It takes a regional view demonstrating foresight into the Region’s future needs.
It not only offers a method of transportation but a specific lifestyle.
The project is also flexible enough to adapt to future needs, additional municipalities, and new ridership.
The On-it Regional Transit Pilot project aims to commence service in September 2016.