Regional transit service is the main topic on the town’s public engagement website right now, with online surveys and comment fields open as the town figures out how to structure bus rides into the city (and possibly Banff).
The service will be run by Southland, who operate the local COLT service for the town as well as the regional On-It service. It was set to be underway already but ended up delayed by the pandemic.
An interim service into Calgary is currently operated by Southland (schedule OnItRegionalTransit.ca), although it isn’t integrated with the local COLT system like future buses into the city will be. Right now, there’s no summoning of rides into Calgary from the COLT app.
Four fixed-route local COLT buses are planned for peak periods (about 5:30-8:30 a.m. & 3:30-6:30 p.m.) that connect to the transit hub at the upcoming municipal building opening next summer.
From there, the plan is for four routes into the city: ‘Transit Hub to Brentwood LRT Station/UofC’, ‘Transit Hub to SAIT and Downtown’, ‘Transit Hub to Foothills Hospital and Downtown’, plus a potential summer route to Banff.
The town has listed multiple factors in landing on Brentwood as the optimal LRT station, including placement on Calgary’s MAX rapid bus line, cutting down on the number of transfers riders might have to do, a bus to U of C without requiring a UPass, and limiting unnecessary C-Train riders between Crowfoot and Brentwood.
Online public engagement is open through April at LetsTalkCochrane.ca, with survey questions covering topics like fares. It takes roughly two minutes to complete, and should Cochranites want to submit further feedback, there’s an open text field as well.
Route planning will take place in May and June, and the service is expected to open “based on demand/Fall 2021.”