By Councillor Susan Flowers
Special to the Cochrane Eagle
We are reaching the end of 2019.
Mayor and Council have initiated many projects in the last two years. One piece of infrastructure that I am most proud of is COLT (Cochrane On-demand Local Transit). The buses started on Cochrane streets on October 7, 2019. After a great deal of research gathered by our Transit Task Force and Transit Coordinator, it was determined that an on-demand service would be the best way to begin the service. Much of the capital funding came from the Province through the GreenTRIP Fund.
The transit service is a pilot project and is free to ride until the end of 2019. We have experienced higher ridership than was predicted. To date we have provided 8,570 rides, and 75 per cent of trips have been shared rides where there is more than one person on the bus.
The service is very flexible, and we are working very hard to meet the demands within the approved budget. It is looking like we may add some fixed routes in the future to accommodate those getting to the On-it Regional Transit bus and travelling to the Brentwood LRT, University of Calgary, SAIT and Downtown Calgary. The COLT transit app system we are using keeps excellent statistics on where the bus is going and ride requests that cannot be accommodated. The data is being used to refine service delivery going forward.
The bus tickets are on order and will be implemented on January 2, 2020. We expect they will arrive at least one week before Christmas. If you are looking for stocking stuffers, they will be on sale at the RancheHouse, Cochrane FCSS, the Cochrane Public Library and Spray Lake Sawmills Recreation Centre (SLSFSC). A book of 10 passes will be $20. An adult monthly pass will cost $50 with the seniors pass at $30 per month and students at $25. Single rides are $2.50.
For the latest information about COLT and to download the COLT app, please go to ridecolt.ca. You can also request COLT transit service by calling: 403-851-5995.
Further to the COLT project, we will build a municipal transit hub to be located on the old bulk gas station on Railway Street. Work will begin early in 2020.
I would like to close by wishing you all a wonderful Christmas holiday season and Happy New Year!