Council endorses transit in Cronquist

Buses will continue to travel through Cronquist Industrial Park. City council endorsed the existing all-day transit service in light of opposition in a unanimous 8-0 vote on Monday night.

Buses will continue to travel through Cronquist Industrial Park.

City council endorsed the existing all-day transit service in light of opposition in a unanimous 8-0 vote on Monday night.

Residents of the Quarry apartment condominium at 5590 45th St. submitted an expression of interest asking city council to eliminate the section of Route 3 that operates through Cronquist Industrial Park.

Residents cited concerns over dust, empty buses and noise.

Members of the Central Alberta Residence Society, Body Basics and Carnival Cinemas, all businesses within Cronquist Industrial Park, wrote letters in support of maintaining the all-day transit service.

Coun. Lynne Mulder said there isn’t a way at this time to create a win-win situation for the Quarry residents and businesses.

She hopes both groups will be involved in the implementation of the bus routes when the Riverlands area is redeveloped.

“We have taken a stance in the city to subsidize transit and I think it is very hard for citizens . . . when we see buses going by empty,” said Mulder. “But we recognize that they aren’t always empty and it is a service that the city does provide and subsidize.”

City transit planner Gerry Gummo said transit service would be considered below standard if the segment were cut.

He said elimination would increase walking distance and weaken viability of the entire route.

On average, 30 passengers board the buses in Cronquist on a typical weekday.

Ridership is expected to increase with the redevelopment of Riverlands.

Gummo said transit is doing its part in reducing noise by purchasing buses with lower decibel ratings (about 10 decibels lower) and training drivers to drive with a lower revolutions per minute to reduce noise and for fuel economy.

“As long as we operate diesel buses, there will be some noise but we are working to mitigate it,” said Gummo.

Bus Route 50 operated during peak hours between Cronquist and Edgar Industrial Park from September 2010 to August 2012.

Route 50 was rerouted in August 2012 to gain overall route efficiency.

At the same time, Route 3 was restored to cover Cronquist in all-day transit service.