While we may be a few years away, the talk of public transit will once again become a topic of conversation.
The Town of Cochrane has recently been approved to revise their original GreenTRIP application. Alberta Transportation has given the green light to amend the plans for $6 million dollars in funding to better suit Cochrane's needs.
Town of Cochrane Mayor Ivan Brooker, says plans for GreenTRIP funding have changed since the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) is taking over regional busing.
"We originally had the regional buses, as well as the internal buses, and a transit terminal in our original approval; now we've said, will you allow us to just change our application because if the CRP undertakes the regional aspect than of course we don't want to."
With CRP taking over the regional aspect, Cochrane will now look at concentrating on an internal system.
"I think on the original approval it was 4 or 5 internal buses and because we continue to grow and we are going out of a valley maybe over the period of time we have 6 or 7 buses (I am not sure what that number is yet) but maybe have more internal buses just providing a faster service to get to the regional terminal so that then you could jump on the big bus to go to the city."
Brooker says while the town has done transit studies in the past, they will look to update them.
"We will have to update them because that was probably a couple years old now and even then it didn't service all the communities. Once we introduce the service we want it to be fair and equitable so that everyone has the ability to use it."
The town will spend some time looking at how many buses and where they will go before submitting the amended application for internal busing.
The town does have the main terminal station secured.
"The Esso bulk site, we have first right of refusal with Esso, we have a memorandum of understanding signed that we would be the purchaser of that. That would be the location where the internal buses would drive around the community and they would return, because if you wanted to just get dropped off and go shopping downtown it is right there, right in the core- and if you wanted to hop on the bus and head to the city that is where the regional ones would likely pick you up."
The funding for GreenTRIP has been extended to 2021 and while Brooker does not anticipate implementing service to take that long, he says the original funding ended in 2018.
Next step, Brooker shares, is engaging the public.
"That is what we have to undertake now again because the community has grown since we kiboshed that a couple years ago, we've grown at 10% and 8% so we are 18% larger than we were two year ago, and because we've grown out of the valley we are so spread out, so we would update that study so we know exactly what the new goal is."