Gasoline Alley bus service feels like luxury to some

Jerry Goertzen spends far less time travelling to work in Gasoline Alley thanks to new transit service.

Passengers board a Red Deer Transit bus on Leva Avenue in Gasoline Alley Tuesday afternoon.

Jerry Goertzen spends far less time travelling to work in Gasoline Alley thanks to new transit service.

For five years, the resident of Riverside Meadows in central Red Deer walked to his maintenance job at Leon’s Furniture Store. And even though the weather could turn nasty, it didn’t matter to Goertzen.

He still did the two-hour trek each way.

Now, it only takes him an hour.

“Walking in the winter gets to be a little much,” said Goertzen, standing alone on a bus stop across from the A&W fast food joint on Leva Avenue.

He’s been a regular customer since the new service began on Aug. 31 and said he has no complaints about it.

“It’s a luxury,” said Goertzen, just before a bus pulled up to whisk him away.

Last year, Red Deer city council supported Red Deer Transit’s move to service Red Deer County’s bustling commercial area of Gasoline Alley, plus the hamlet of Springbrook near Red Deer Regional Airport.

The county is responsible for both operating and capital costs. Expenses include a large transit bus, a Citizen’s Action Bus and 22 bus stops and concrete pads in Gasoline Alley and Springbrook.

Operating the service is expected to cost the county around $600,000 annually.

The county is expected to recoup some of its costs through fares and government grants.

Ric Henderson, assistant manager for Red Deer County, said the handibus is picking up about five customers a day and is making around 150 trips per month.

The regular transit bus has about 150 customers per day Monday through Friday, and about 50 daily customers on the weekend.

Red Deer County manager Curtis Herzberg said the ridership numbers have “exceeded our expectations.”

“The county has committed to let this go on for at least a year before we’d start to consider any changes,” he said. “We recognize it’s going to take a while before people would get accustomed to it.”

It’s uncertain how much the county will be subsidizing the service at this time, but with the solid ridership, it’s anticipated the county won’t be spending as much money as earlier anticipated.

“Every public transportation system has a subsidy involved,” Herzberg added. “They generally don’t break even.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Celebrating 4-20 in Red Deer

For years, 4-20 was a time to protest for the legalization of… Continue reading

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Dozens hurt in collapse of deck during wedding celebration in Langley, B.C.

LANGLEY, B.C. — Police say dozens of people were injured, some critically,… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25.5 million jackpot… Continue reading

Uber driver charged in two sexual assault investigations: Toronto police

Toronto police say an Uber driver is facing sexual assault charges in… Continue reading

PEI Green party candidate Josh Underhay and son killed in canoeing accident

CHARLOTTETOWN — With only a few days before voters were to go… Continue reading

Egyptians vote on changes that would extend el-Sissi’s rule

CAIRO — Egyptians cast their ballots Saturday on the first of three… Continue reading

Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid

WASHINGTON — A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s… Continue reading

New bout of heavy fighting in Yemen kills dozens

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni officials say heavy fighting in Yemen’s southern Dhale… Continue reading

Most Read