The Town of Blackfalds is moving to replace the outgoing BOLT Transit System, which ferried passengers between Blackfalds, Lacombe and Red Deer.
The new Blackfalds Transit Service will provide town residents with an on-demand service to the north end of Red Deer — connecting with current transit infrastructure in that city.
Preston Weran, director of infrastructure and property services, said riders will be able to book transit by phone and through an app. The service is being provided after council and Blackfalds’ economic development team recognized transit as a community priority.
“A lot of people need that transit service to get to and from their appointments, work and other reasons they are commuting to Red Deer,” Weran said.
The service will kick in Aug. 31, coinciding with the end of the BOLT system. Passengers will be able to access the service from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. at a fare between $2.50 and $4 Monday to Friday.
“We will look at adjusting that service based on input from the public, as well as from the riders,” Weran said.
The service will cost the Town around $186,000 annually and is expected to host 7,200 to 8,200 rides annually
The annual cost is just over $186,000 yearly and the budget is estimated around $200,000 in total. The service will be able to provide an estimated 7,200 to 8,200 rides, depending on peak times in the community.
The Town recently purchased a slightly-used 2019 2500 Ram Wheelchair Van from the Town of Okotoks for $54,000 to accommodate the service.
To pilot the project, the Town will offer a month of free rides to Blackfalds residents in September.
You will have to book that through the app or the call centre,” Weran said.
The BOLT Transit System was cancelled after the City of Lacombe chose to discontinue the service in their community earlier this year.