We all love to hate on the Edmonton Transit System. I remember counting down the days until I could drive just so I wouldn’t have to wait for incessantly late busses on brutally cold winter days.
But the reality is we as university students rely heavily on the ETS, particularly the LRT. LRT offerings are so sweet that people who have cars often choose to take the train for speed and convenience.
In order to allow for LRT use without the hassle of bussing, Park and Rides are available at many stations across the city. An integral part of transit on the southside is the Park and Ride at Century Park, where unfortunately the lease is expiring in 2020, which is about three days in city planning world.
Rather than extending the lease, the city’s solution introduces a level of inconvenience that will force drivers to reconsider whether the LRT is the best way to transport themselves. The long-term goal is to extend the LRT line to Heritage Valley, but until a station is built, the city plans on introducing a Park and Ride with express busses that would pick up passengers at Ellerslie Road and 127 Street and transport them to the Century Park station.
The express busses will make it so you drive or walk to the bus stop, take the bus and then take the train. Such a plan is no different from just taking the bus except that it leads to a longer commute.
It is unfortunate that the Alberta-based company ProCura Developments would choose to build on land that already very much benefits the public since the Century Park parking lot is consistently full. The planned course of action will also make Century Park, an already developed area, more congested.
The bottom line is that as residents of Edmonton, we need to be conscious of how our actions could impact the city. The city has gone to great lengths to revamp and improve Edmonton, and it is silly that avoidable issues like this that hold our city back. Rather than leaving this issue solely to the municipal government, we the citizens that actively use the Park and Ride should rally to make the ProCura renew its lease.
We should also be using this is as an opportunity to communicate to our government the idea of potentially adding more Park and Ride stalls nearby existing stations, and not ones that require riding more buses.
We are lucky that our government is open and active about communication with its citizens. We need to take advantage of this and individually make the effort to rally and combat these unfortunate setbacks.