Okotoks Local Transit Implementation Plan

Your Town. Your Transit. Your Voice.

Okotoks prides itself on being a “green leader.” From the creation of the first neighbourhood in North America with a solar district heating system, to our pursuit of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification for our buildings, we are focused on reducing our impacts on the environment while still providing high quality services to our residents. Implementing local transit service and preparing for the change that self-driving vehicles will bring in the future, we are continuing to maintain our vision of environmental stewardship, innovation and sustainability.

Phase 1 of the Local Transit Implementation process is complete.  Thank you for sharing your input!  See details in the Phase 1 Public Participation Summary  tab below.

Phase 2 of the Local Transit Implementation process is complete.  Thank you for your participation and feedback!  See details in the Phase 2 Public Participation Summary  tab below.

Next Steps
The creation of the draft plan is currently underway and will be going to Council in February 2019.  If approved, local transit service is expected to be operational later this year.

More Information
Why do we need a Transit Plan?

Okotoks has grown significantly over the past several decades, and our future looks very bright. The demand for transportation choices has increased and future transit options are continuously evolving with technology and innovation.  These future transit options may include the ride-sharing services, autonomous/self-driving vehicles and increased integration of “active modes” of transportation like cycling and walking.

One piece of the transportation puzzle is still missing from Okotoks: public transit. We have heard from our residents that local transit is a top priority. This planning process will evaluate several types of transit solutions intended for implementation in 2019 while being cognizant of future transit trends.

What will be in the Plan?

The plan will evaluate several styles of transit and choose the best solution for Okotoks both now and for years to come. It will include some key pieces, such as:

  • Potential routes and service hours
  • Fare structure
  • Types of vehicles
  • Service delivery method – Town owned/managed, partnership, etc.

The plan will focus on local transit service – moving people around Okotoks in their daily lives – but will consider how the service could be expanded outward and link other systems in the future.

The planning process involves a two-phased public participation approach. Phase 1 – Listen, is focused on hearing what you think and what you need. Where do you go most often in Okotoks? Which of your daily or weekly trips might be possible or more convenient via transit and why?  Which incentives would entice you to try transit? Please share your ideas with us by stopping by an open house, a booth at a Dawgs game, or by taking a quick online survey.

From the feedback we gather in phase one, combined with data analysis and an innovative approach to creating a truly Okotokian transit solution, we’ll come back to you in phase two of the public participation with a draft local transit service. You’ll be able to learn about the proposed system and offer input and feedback that will be incorporated into the final service plan, intended for operation in early 2019.

Phase 1 Public Participation Summary

How does your input assist the transit plan?

Your input is important in shaping the design of the proposed transit system. It will help guide decisions about the type of system that will be developed including options for transit routes and efficiencies that will make it more viable and accessible for Okotoks residents.

Phase 2 Public Participation Summary

How does your input assist the transit plan?

Feedback gathered from phase two of the local transit public participation process indicates that Okotoks residents prefer an "on-demand" system using small format transit vehicles.  See summary for more details.
 
News Releases

October 9, 2018
Upcoming Transit Pop-Up Events Scheduled

To kick off phase 2 of public participation for the proposed transit plan, the Town will be hosting pop-up events around town on October 24 and 25 to showcase the proposed transit plan and to gather more feedback from residents for any final tweaks before the plan is presented to Council.  

The schedule of locations and times can be found at www.okotoks.ca/localtransit, along with the link to an online survey that will run from October 23 to November 6.

Using community input received at previous events and an online survey, the Town has created a proposed transit plan based on an “on-demand” system with small format transit vehicles. The proposed system, which is slated to begin service next year, has one more opportunity for public input before going to Council in December. 

“As our community has grown over the past decade, the need for a local transit option has become more and more apparent,” says Colin Gainer, Senior Planner. “By providing an alternative to personal vehicles, many of our residents will finally have the freedom to move around town on their own schedules. This new system should also ease parking congestion over time at several popular destinations around town and will help to reduce our overall carbon footprint.”

Michelle Orfield, a Smart Mobility and Transit Planning consultant with Stantec Consulting Ltd., agrees. “Okotoks is continuing its long tradition of using innovative approaches to create a perfect fit solution for Okotoks. The proposed local transit plan reflects what we've heard from residents: a desire for smaller, clean vehicles; a service that is convenient and easy to use; and an exciting opportunity to test self-driving shuttles.”

The proposed transit plan will be delivered to Town Council at their regular meeting on December 10, and if approved, will start being put into effect in early 2019.

 

Town seeks public input on development of Local Transit Implementation Plan

The Town of Okotoks is working with Stantec Consulting Ltd. on two studies that will shape how residents move around town in the near and distant future. 

These linked studies on local public transit opportunities and self-driving shuttles will explore evolving transit systems and result in a Local Transit Implementation Plan that will provide another transportation option for Okotoks’ growing community.  Transit service delivery is expected in 2019.

“The demand for transit within the community has been steadily increasing over the past few years,” says Colin Gainer, senior planner with the Town of Okotoks.   “What this system looks like, however, will need to be determined based on community input received over the coming months. With a better understanding of the connections that residents and visitors would like between places around town, a transit service can be designed specifically for Okotoks.”

The Local Transit Implementation Plan process will be divided into two main phases: Phase 1—Listen is focused on getting resident input on the challenges and opportunities for a local transit system.  Phase 2—Did we hear you? coming later this year, will showcase what was heard from the community and how it shaped the draft plan.

The project team will be sharing information and gathering input at the Okotoks Dawgs game on June 6, 7 p.m., and at the Okotoks Recreation Centre foyer on June 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information on public participation opportunities and project updates, please visit www.okotoks.ca/localtransit.