Bus Rapid Transit Lines Revealed: Transit System Planning for Future Growth
After years of detailed study, planning, and community engagement, the city’s Bus Rapid Transit lines have been revealed.
“This is a major move toward the implementation of our Plan for Growth,” says Lesley Anderson, Director of Planning and Development. “The future transit system is key to providing viable options for people to move around and supporting transit-oriented development along some of the city’s major corridors. This plan presents us with a view of our future transit system in much greater detail than we have seen before. Our goal is to design a system that works for Saskatoon – so join the conversation!”
“There are notable changes to the preferred route configuration presented in November,” Anderson says. She explains that this includes the introduction of a “Green Line,” necessary to accommodate the split in the former “Red Line.”
Formerly the northern component of the Red Line servicing University Heights, the new Green Line will stretch from University Heights, through the Downtown, terminating at Confederation Mall. This third line will parallel the Red Line for much of its length, improving the frequency along 22nd Street, through the Downtown, and along College Drive, while making the overall system easier to understand for users.
Anderson adds the plan provides further details about:
- how a new BRT system will function;
- identifying station design options;
- platform locations; and
- configuration of dedicated runningways.
She says the plan also includes a strategy for how the rest of the transit system could be reconfigured to align with BRT; provide high-quality, direct, and frequent transit connections; and better expand to meet the future needs of a city with a population of 500,000..
“I am excited about the opportunities this system will provide our city,” says Jim McDonald, Director of Saskatoon Transit. “This will help us encourage transit-oriented development that meets the growing needs for our city. Change is needed to ensure the success of our future system, but it will be done incrementally and thoughtfully, in partnership with the community.”
The proposed plan, along with a summary of stakeholder and public input, will be presented to City Council for consideration and approval later this spring.
At its April 25, 2016 meeting, Saskatoon City Council approved, in principle, the Growth Plan to Half a Million, which includes plans for a re-envisioned transit system based around BRT and infill at strategic locations in the city, including the Downtown, the University of Saskatchewan endowment lands, and along major transportation corridors. Following this approval, the City created a Ten-Year Action Plan to advance a number of the core initiatives identified in the Growth Plan to Half a Million.
The City and the Government of Canada will share in a total contribution of $7.65 million through the Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund for a number of the Plan for Growth projects, including:
- Transit Plan – includes BRT and Transit System Plan Implementation
- Corridor Growth
- Transit Villages Concept Plans
- Corridor Planning Program
- Brownfield Renewal Strategy