Plans for an extensive transit expansion that would have connected Fort Saskatchewan to the surrounding communities have been shot down by Edmonton.
During budget deliberations last month, Edmonton city council decided to withdraw as a member of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Transit Services Commission (EMRTSC). This led to the commission announcing in early January that they planned on winding down operations.
The commission had big plans for expanding transit access to those in and around Edmonton. Eight municipalities, including Fort Saskatchewan, were members part of the commission.
The decision to withdraw stemmed from funding concerns and doubts surrounding how effective the commission's proposed plans were.
According to Richard Gagnon, the director of public works for Fort Saskatchewan, this development should not impact the existing transit routes.
"Regarding our current transit service to Edmonton or locally, there is no effect," said Gagnon. "There is no change at this time to our service level."
The commission was planning on establishing transit routes that not only better connected surrounding communities into Edmonton but to each other as well.
"The current route, the 580 [ETS route], was still going to be the same," said Gagnon. "What they were looking at was maybe better connections within the city of Edmonton with a cross-town route that would take people to St. Albert and West Edmonton mall."
Fort Saskatchewan is not giving up hope on a better transit plan. Gagnon says the door is still open for future solutions to transit.
"We're going to mirror what we did in 2022 and continue our discussion with the region on a potential arrangement for better transit."
Here is a look at the now-dead plan that the EMRTSC proposed: