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Posted on: September 11, 2018

COUNCIL APPROVES MOVING AHEAD WITH NEXT STEP FOR TRANSIT

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Council unanimously approved the recommendations of the Transit Task Force at their meeting last night.

Town staff are now preparing an RFP for an on-demand transit service based on the service standards approved by Council last night. Council will consider the RFP submissions for award of the contract during the 2019-2021 budget deliberations in December.

CAO Dave Devana and Transit analyst Devin LaFleche presented the full report of the Transit Task Force (TTF) at the September 10 Council meeting, including recommendations to prepare an RFP so Council can consider accurate costs for a local transit service for a five-year pilot project. Those costs, if approved by Council in the 2019-2021 Budget, would be included in the 2019 budget with a potential soft launch of the transit service in August 2019.

The TTF recommends an on-demand transit service with mobility as a service, which is a mix of ride-hailing technology and public transit with routes based on demand. Transit riders book trips through a smart phone app, website or by phone. The service can be increased or decreased to match the actual demand of the transit customers. The proposed fare is $2.50 per trip with opportunities for monthly passes.

Public engagement about transit included meetings with community groups and individuals, community events, pop-up engagement opportunities and over 250 online and paper surveys completed by members of the community. The feedback was used by the task force to develop the recommendations.

In 2011, the Town of Cochrane was approved for $9 million in provincial GreenTRIP funding. The $9 million includes 2/3 ($6 million) in grants from the provincial government and 1/3 ($3 million) from the Town of Cochrane; the Town’s portion is funded through Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) and Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant, not property taxes.

The Transit Task Force includes Mayor Jeff Genung, Councillors Marni Fedeyko and Tara McFadden, one Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and Social Planning Advisory Board Member, one Cochrane Society for Housing Options (CSHO) representative, four public at large members (one paratransit user, one youth and two seniors), as well as the Town CAO and transit analyst as non-voting members.

The RFP will ask for transit operations proposals based on the recommended service standards outlined in the report, including the five-year pilot project timeframe, software and scheduling systems and transit service hours.

Council will consider awarding a contract following the RFP process that is expected to conclude in November.

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