Camrose Connector Pilot Project Ends March 26, 2021

Posted On Monday March 01, 2021

With the support of a wide range of regional stakeholders (local municipalities, healthcare sector and education sector), the City submitted applications for operational funding for two separate, two-year pilot transportation projects on March 27, 2018. After various discussions with the Province, the Province announced that both applications were approved on June 28, 2018.

The City followed its approved tendering process for the Camrose-Edmonton Lifeline Shuttle Service project (locally known as the Camrose Connector), and subsequently selected Red Arrow to provide the actual shuttle service.

The Camrose Connector service began actual operations on September 4, 2018 with a regularly scheduled route (3 trips per day, Monday – Friday) from Camrose to various locations in Edmonton. Originally the focus of the service was to provide access to specialist medical services in Edmonton, although the City recognized that people may use this for other purposes such as shopping or commuting for work or school. Over the first six months of the program, the service saw an average of 424 riders per month. In spring/summer 2019, the service saw a slight dip in ridership (averaging 372 riders per month). This is likely due to a decrease in university student passengers during this time.

On August 25, 2019, the City launched a revised service schedule based on survey results that had been conducted over the previous months. Some of the changes made to the service include:

  • The removal of Tuesday route to accommodate a Sunday route
  • The removal of the underutilized Camrose St. Mary’s stop
  • The addition of a new stop in Hay Lakes

With these changes, ridership between September 2019 and December 2019 increased to an average of 566 riders per month.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ridership has decreased significantly, with the average over the past 5 months being approximately 110 riders per month.

Following the direction provided by City Council during the February 3, 2020 Regular Council Meeting (Council Motion #42/20), Administration submitted a 16-month extension request for this program. Administration prepared and submitted the extension request on February 21, 2020 to the Province of Alberta. Ultimately, on August 22, 2020, the Province approved an extension to the Camrose Connector service to the end of March 2021. Through recent discussions with provincial staff, Administration understands that the Province does not intend to provide additional funding for this service beyond the end of March.

The last day for the Camrose Connector service will be on Friday, March 26, 2021.