City Council has approved the submission of two grant applications which, if successful, would be used towards funding the construction of a downtown transit terminal and a regional park ‘n’ ride transit service.
The creation of a transit terminal would address current convenience and safety challenges in the downtown core and create an opportunity for the addition of a regional transit service. This is in line with the Government of Alberta’s goals of promoting regional transit and reducing greenhouse gases.
“This is a collaborative project that could tackle many transit challenges in the City and the surrounding area,” says Mayor Spearman. “If we are successful in our grant applications, we can create a transit terminal that would provide ticket terminals, washrooms, protection from the weather and a safe and easy place to transfer buses – all things we are challenged to provide with our current transit system.”
Consultations are ongoing between City administration and potential partners who could operate the regional park ‘n’ ride service. The new facility would provide a central location for residents in surrounding communities to park their vehicle and access regional transit. Additionally, Lethbridge residents could easily access City transit to the terminal when taking a regional trip.
The identified location of the potential transit terminal is a City owned parking lot located on 5 Avenue South between 7 and 8 Street. The proposed terminal would improve accessibility with ten drop-off/pick-up locations and one-way traffic flow in and out of the site. Half would be covered by a parking structure providing weather protection. Removing buses from 4 Avenue would also free up much needed downtown parking space and decrease the chance for collisions.
“It’s vital for our success, the success of our province and the protection of our environment that we be working regionally whenever we can,” says Councillor Jeff Carlson. “It is exciting to have the opportunity to leverage grant funding that would facilitate this project. More transit users means less cars on the road and that’s a huge win for the environment.”
The City will be applying for over $11 million from the province’s GreenTRIP program and $2 million from the Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund. An additional $3.6 million would be secured from other revenue sources to complete the project.