Extensive connectivity improvements to Transit Network
The City of Saskatoon continues undertaking improvements to its Transit shelters, bus stops, sidewalks and other related infrastructure.
Funded by the City and the Government of Canada, which invested $5.3 million through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund toward these projects, this work will ultimately help better connect people to this important local transportation network. In Saskatchewan, the federal PTIF program is administered by the provincial government.
“Getting people where they need to go safely, quickly, and comfortably is essential to creating liveable communities,” says the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “Our government is proud to support these vital upgrades to Saskatoon’s transit infrastructure. A safer, more inclusive transit system will increase ridership, reduce congestion and improve air quality.”
“Saskatoon can contribute to improving its citizens’ quality of life with projects like these, thanks to the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, which the Government of Saskatchewan administers in the province. Saskatchewan’s eligible municipal partners having access to this federally-funded program helps those communities address their local priorities,” says the Honourable Warren Kaeding Saskatchewan’s Minister of Government Relations.
“Undertaking improvements such as sidewalks, landing pads, ramps and shelters to Transit stops such as the one at Attridge Drive and Rever Road can mean the difference between choosing to use Transit or not,” says Mike Moellenbeck, Saskatoon’s Acting Director of Transit. “As we work towards a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Transit connectivity becomes even more important. We are looking to the future in terms of the locations that make sense and responding to the needs of the people we serve today.”
Through its recent Bus Stop Blues campaign, Saskatoon Transit received more than 45 submissions on areas that would benefit from improvements. Submissions were categorized into one of three categories: 1) sidewalk/accessibility, 2) new shelter/ repair, or 3) general maintenance. Three quarters of the submissions received were asking for improvements to the Attridge Drive and Rever Road location. A full listing of the planned improvements can be found at SaskatoonTransit.ca/about-us/projects.
As part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plans, Attridge and Rever has also been selected for one of the BRT stations which will act as a major transfer point for the area. BRT stations are planned to be built at a height of approximately 10 inches, about 4 inches higher than existing curbs throughout the city. As a pilot, the bus stops at Attridge Drive and Rever Road were built to a height of 10 inches. The raised curbs will improve accessibility by offering near level boarding to accommodate wheelchair access without having to deploy the bus ramp allowing for faster passenger loading times. This is in addition to Saskatoon Transit’s objectives to attain a 100 per cent accessible fleet by the end of 2018.
“When we’re upgrading stops, we look at the connecting sidewalks people use to get to those locations as well,” says David LeBoutillier, Saskatoon’s Acting Engineering Manager for Transportation. “Depending on the pre-existing conditions, we repaired, or replaced, and in some cases added new sidewalk at identified locations.”
On top of this, the City improved 20 per cent more sidewalk panels than originally projected for 2018. Sidewalk ramps – connecting sidewalks to roadways – were also installed at locations around the city. The locations for both panel and ramp repair/installation were identified based on connectivity to Transit. Additional considerations included public input, Neighbourhood Traffic Review recommendations, and prioritization for those locations where there are no sidewalks on either side of the road.
The total investment in these various improvements, including both the Government of Canada’s and City of Saskatoon’s contributions, is more than $10.6 million.