Colt is working along with On-It to provide interim regional transportation service from Cochrane to the Brentwood LRT Station and downtown Calgary.
It will serve as a test for transportation endeavours in the future while providing convenience for commuters now.
Due to COVID, the ridership on the Southland coach bus had dropped and Colt stepped up to provide an alternative.
Devin LaFleche, Sustainability & Transit Coordinator with the Town of Cochrane says, "That the coach bus just wasn't viable. So we had some residents reach out to us we worked with Southland to see what kind of partnership we could create. We were planning the integration of On-It and Colt in the future prior to COVID. Then COVID hit we kind of hit pause on that, but when this happened we said let's see what we can do for the residents."
LaFleche says right now they will be really focusing on Cochrane residents. Colt is offering the option for Calgary residents to travel to Cochrane, but the primary focus of the interim service is to get Cochrane commuters in and out to work.
LaFleche explains that they chose the Brentwood LRT on the recommendation of Calgary transit. It is the connection for the BRT (bus route transit) which will save a lot of people from transferring and the new max line for the BRT is very efficient. Plus, the U of C is there.
Of course, a lot of things have been put on hold due to COVID 19, but before the pandemic, the plan was to expand the regional transportation service which would focus on bi-directional travel with about six trips per day planned. Leaving from the new transit hub to be built on Railway Street across from the library. There would be a route to Brentwood LRT and U of C. Another route to SAIT and downtown as well as to and Foothills Hospital. Also, potentially a route to Banff in the summer months. LaFleche says, "We are still waiting to see where ridership goes and once we see that ridership comes back, we're really going to try and implement that service.
In the meantime, the interim service starting Nov 2, is an opportunity to test the waters for increased services in a non-pandemic future. For ticket and schedule information click here.