On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, Calgary Transit launched RouteAhead
- a ten month project that will result in a 30-year plan focusing on:
- Continuous customer service improvement;
- Capital infrastructure planning for the growth of the bus and LRT networks;
- A fiscal strategy to sustainably manage the costs and revenues of the system;
- Organizational structure and governance of Calgary Transit; and,
- Operational service delivery objectives such as service frequency and reliability.
RouteAhead will build upon the existing Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) and will explore new ways to better serve Transit customers. It will also discuss what is working well and what requires additional support.
The RouteAhead plan will be developed in two phases. Phase one will involve listening to and working to understand the views of customers and citizens. The project team will also research best practices from other cities and explore different approaches to service delivery.
The second phase includes development of the long-term plan for transit based on the results of public engagement and research, including existing data from surveys of Calgarians.
The RouteAhead project also involves a committee, which your own Ward 6 Alderman has been asked to serve on. The committee will begin meeting regularly in coming weeks and I look forward to being a part of this important and exciting project.
RouteAhead will address how Calgary Transit can reach the visions outlined in Plan It Calgary and will answer the questions: How will we get there? What investments and improvements need to be made to realize this vision? What does the future hold for Calgary Transit?
The project includes three phases:
- Phase one – engagement, discussion and information gathering. This phase is to be complete in July 2012.
- Phase two – analysis, evaluation and study. This phase is to be complete in September 2012.
- Phase three – strategic plan, summary documentation and final report to SPC on Transportation and Transit on December 12, 2012.
In order to reach people in phase one where they live, the decision was made to use an engagement bus. The bus drove around Calgary stopping at bus stops to offer customers a free ride in exchange for their feedback. Comments are were written on circle stickers and post-it notes and placed on the interior of the bus. Each week, several comments would be expanded and placed on the exterior of the bus which was painted completely white except for the words "It's your transit. Tell us where you want to go." All of the feedback received on the bus will has been compiled and will form the basis of the strategic plan and report to Council in December.
While it is important to obtain feedback from those who currently use the transit system, it is also important to hear from potential customers. Since one of the main objectives of this project is to increase the use of transit, we need to know what holds people back from choosing public transit as their preferred mode of transportation. To reach these people, RouteAhead has an online blog, actively uses Twitter to solicit feedback and hosted a public forum on Saturday, May 26 at the Telus Convention Centre, in which I engaged with Transit customers.
The team is also meeting with local business representatives, interest groups, government officials, other City of Calgary business units and representatives from other systems across North America to learn how their systems are operated, funded and governed.
You can watch the video report from the first day of customer engagement (Calgary Herald) to see how the engagement process worked. Below is a photo gallery from the official launch of the RouteAhead Engagement Bus at Olympic Plaza.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.