It could be taxi subsidies, volunteer driver or shuttle bus programs or even a bicycle lending project, but city staff is looking at alternate public transportation supports.
Since having a full-scale public transit system implemented in the Border City was voted down last year by council — after results from the Let’s Talk Transit survey suggested it would have low ridership and the public didn’t want to fork overmoney for it — staff has been researching different models to eventually bring to council.
Community services general manager Patrick Lancaster said they have been talking with different communities about various programs that would be a good fit for Lloydminster.
“The conclusions that we drew from the transit survey is we’re not prepared to roll out a full busing system, but we were going to look for supports that would meet the needs… would be flexible, but at the same time, not put a burden on the taxpayer,” he said. “We’ve been in contact with different communities ranging from Okotoks to Saskatoon to Victoria and they’ve identified different models.”
The city has also been in contact with local groups like the Handivan Society, which has led to some quick changes for some.
“Part of the conversations we’ve had with the Handivan Society have led to the extension of the Lloydminster senior taxi program to include Handivan clients that are seniors,” he said. “Now they’re able to purchase the same tickets that seniors are able to get, were already able to get for local taxi companies for part of the taxi subsidize program, so they’re able to use those as part of the Handivan service, as well, so it’s brought down those costs a little bit.”
But with affordability not just being a seniors’ or persons with disabilities’ issue, the scope of future models will include a broader group of people who require those supports, Lancaster added.
While back in December when this was discussed by council, a timeline for having something brought to council this year was set, administration may take some more time to get different solutions in place.
Lancaster said that’s so staff can do their due diligence on the matter.
“We’ll continue to collect information and administration will review that and once we have a proposal or proposals we feel comfortable with, we will bring those to council and will be made public at that time,” he added.