In 2014, the city will start running buses on 10 holidays throughout the year, not including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, said Will Steblyk, manager of planning and customer service at St. Albert Transit.
The decision came after a number of passengers requested service on these days at city council, he said. He added that the city did not receive many requests for bus service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
“The ridership on those days would probably be so minimal as to not warrant it,” he said. “We don’t have much data regarding potential Christmas Day ridership. But we are addressing 10 of the days. That’s what we’ve been allotted.”
The city will, however, run its 201 bus in and out of Edmonton on New Year’s Eve, he said. The bus will run once every hour until about 2:45 a.m., with the last bus leaving Edmonton city hall station to St. Albert at 2:10 a.m. On that day, transit service will be free after 6 p.m., he added.
Those arriving at Village Landing station in St. Albert on the 201 can also take the last dial-a-bus to get home, he said.
“The passenger gets off route 201, boards the dial-a-bus, tells the driver where he wants to be dropped off and the driver will drop him off at the bus stop closest to the person’s home,” he said. “It’s a more customized passenger service.”
Steblyk added that dial-a-bus is not available for local pickups and only runs from Village Transit station until the last 201 bus arrives.
He said the city has not received comments from residents about implementing a bus service that will pick people up at specific locations throughout the city on New Year’s Eve.
“It would be something we could certainly look into if there was an indication that there was demand for that,” he said. “We would certainly look into that and consider it for next year.”