Reduced transit hours raising concerns about late-night safety

Reduced hours of late-night bus service are raising safety concerns with some users at the downtown Red Deer Transit terminal.

Reduced hours of late-night bus service are raising safety concerns with some users at the downtown Red Deer Transit terminal.

City council decided during 2012 budget talks early this year to reduce transit service from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes after 10:45 p.m.

Cherise Piercy, an active bus user, gathered 471 signatures to seek more bus service after 10:45 p.m. She told council she wasn’t sure how many of those who signed the petition actually use the buses later at night.

She highlighted one concern — that people, especially women, don’t feel safe sticking around at Sorensen Station while they wait for the bus.

“There’s not enough commissionaires, peace officer and police officers in the area,” Piercy said. “It’s not safe. I’ve been there.”

Sometimes people have to change their work schedules or their jobs because they can’t work late, she added.

Piercy also said she will present more signatures to see hours extended on Sundays.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said she’s concerned that women don’t feel safe late at night at the downtown terminal.

“We talk about the quality of life and meeting the needs for the community,” said Wyntjes. “I’ll be supporting the riders.”

The 2012 budget reduction amounted to $160,000 in savings annually.

Council was told that three random counts of the late-night service showed that the average number of riders was seven on each bus.

Coun. Paul Harris said this is the one area within the budget that he voted on incorrectly earlier this year. He would now vote in favour of keeping the hours.

Extended hours, weekend hours and frequency were listed as top priorities in a recent transit survey, said Harris.

Council voted 6-2 in favour of reaffirming transit reductions, but also agreed to review the issue during 2013 budget talks.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling and Councillors Chris Stephan, Cindy Jefferies, Lynne Mulder, Frank Wong and Tara Veer voted in favour of keeping the transit service hour reductions.

Harris and Wyntjes voted against. Coun. Buck Buchanan was absent.

“I don’t think that people realize the cost of off-peak hours … in Calgary, they operate more service during peak hours, which I think we should do,” said Stephan.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

City council decided during 2012 budget talks early this year to reduce transit service from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes after 10:45 p.m.

Cherise Piercy, an active bus user, gathered 471 signatures to seek more bus service after 10:45 p.m. She told council she wasn’t sure how many of those who signed the petition actually use the buses later at night.

She highlighted one concern — that people, especially women, don’t feel safe sticking around at Sorensen Station while they wait for the bus.

“There’s not enough commissionaires, peace officer and police officers in the area,” Piercy said. “It’s not safe. I’ve been there.”

Sometimes people have to change their work schedules or their jobs because they can’t work late, she added.

Piercy also said she will present more signatures to see hours extended on Sundays.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said she’s concerned that women don’t feel safe late at night at the downtown terminal.

“We talk about the quality of life and meeting the needs for the community,” said Wyntjes. “I’ll be supporting the riders.”

The 2012 budget reduction amounted to $160,000 in savings annually.

Council was told that three random counts of the late-night service showed that the average number of riders was seven on each bus.

Coun. Paul Harris said this is the one area within the budget that he voted on incorrectly earlier this year. He would now vote in favour of keeping the hours.

Extended hours, weekend hours and frequency were listed as top priorities in a recent transit survey, said Harris.

Council voted 6-2 in favour of reaffirming transit reductions, but also agreed to review the issue during 2013 budget talks.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling and Councillors Chris Stephan, Cindy Jefferies, Lynne Mulder, Frank Wong and Tara Veer voted in favour of keeping the transit service hour reductions.

Harris and Wyntjes voted against. Coun. Buck Buchanan was absent.

“I don’t think that people realize the cost of off-peak hours … in Calgary, they operate more service during peak hours, which I think we should do,” said Stephan.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer massage therapist not guilty of sexual assault

Judge said he had reasonable doubt and must acquit

Update: Nine dead, 16 injured in van incident authorities call a horrific attack

TORONTO — Nine people died and 16 others were injured when a… Continue reading

Watch: Flood watch remains for Waskasoo Creek

Red Deer crews monitoring creek

Warm temperatures this week for Red Deer

23 C forecast for Saturday

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

Andersen leads Maple Leafs in win over Bruins to force Game 7

Maple Leafs 3 Bruins 1 (Best of seven game series tied at… Continue reading

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Anti-straw movement should consider people with disabilities, advocates say

TORONTO — Some Canadians who rely on plastic straws are calling on… Continue reading

Doctors must get better at diagnosing patients with darker skin: Dermatologists

TORONTO — About a month ago, a frustrated Emma Schmidt turned to… Continue reading

Loblaw Companies tax court trial over Barbadian banking subsidiary starts

TORONTO — A tax court trial involving Loblaw Companies Ltd. and allegations… Continue reading

As trial winds down, DA downplays Cosby travel records

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Prosecutors highlighted gaps in Bill Cosby’s travel records on… Continue reading

Summer Movie Preview: Hollywood roars back into action

LOS ANGELES — Summer starts early this year in Hollywood with the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month