St. Albert Transit is a major disappointment
Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 06:00 am
I am a regular passenger with St. Albert Transit and I have been for many years. I also frequently travel on Edmonton Transit (bus and LRT).
Without hesitating, I can conclude that St. Albert Transit is the most obscure, strange public transit service I have ever used.
First of all, why does St. Albert Transit not operate on Boxing Day and statutory holidays? Yes, city hall is closed on such days, but does this suddenly mean that people do not need to get places?
News flash: many people work on statutory holidays and Boxing Day who depend on public transit from St. Albert. Yes, Edmonton Transit is a different transit system in a different city, but it's incredibly appropriate to compare our transit services to Edmonton's. First off, Edmonton Transit does not shut down on Boxing Day and stat holidays; their services run all day long.
In St. Albert, transit is not available on Boxing Day and stat holidays, and Boxing Day is only considered a statutory holiday in Ontario. An argument is easily made that few people would use transit services during the holidays; however, has St. Albert Transit ever actually operated on Boxing Day? If this service was available, the public could use transit to travel to West Edmonton Mall, downtown Edmonton, and Whyte Ave. via the University bus on Boxing Day. In addition to providing a sustainable method of transport, it's very likely that many would use St. Albert Transit on Boxing Day.
On Family Day, Victoria Day, and Canada Day, St. Albert schedules many family-friendly events; however, does this mean that St. Albert is the only city that holds events on stat holidays? No! Since St. Albert Transit does not operate on stat holidays, those who depend on transit services and especially those who do not drive are basically trapped in St. Albert on these days unless they are willing to pay between $35-40 one-way by taxi to downtown Edmonton, and around $50 to Whyte Avenue.
Lastly, I would like to address the unpredictability of St. Albert Transit. Frequently, I catch a bus from a local route and then catch a commuter bus from either Village Station or St. Albert Centre. During the last two weeks, I have been waiting in Grandin for the A1 bus to arrive on Gainsborough Avenue and it simply has not shown up, or it has shown up late by ten minutes or more. This is especially difficult to handle when temperatures are around the -30 range. When I catch a local bus to make a connection to Edmonton, I expect that the local bus will make it to the transit centre on time. This is not the case. St. Albert is not a transit friendly city. We are paying for a service that decides to work when it wants to, and when it's most convenient for the transit system.
Spencer Kryzanowski, St. Albert