Black Press File Photo

Lacombe Council continues to push for expanded BOLT ridership

Council hopes to find efficiency in program to ease BOLT’s tax impact

Lacombe Council’s desire to find efficiency in the BOLT intermunicipal transit system that connects the City and Blackfalds to Red Deer is facing some issues.

Jonathan Jacobson, Lacombe City counsellor, feels there are differences of opinion between Lacombe and Blackfalds members on the BOLT committee.

“My sense is that our partners in Blackfalds are very happy with the program because they view it as filling a social need they have there. It is more of a social need first, transportation need second, which is fine as a philosophical way of looking at it,” Jacobson said.

He was fully in support of BOLT filling a social need, but Council’s initial intent when forming the BOLT committee was to increase ridership and find efficiencies within the program for Lacombe.

“It costs taxpayers in excess of $200,000 per year for a program that from the outset we could have maybe spent the money somewhere else,” he said. “The whole purpose of this committee was to create a governance body over it to ensure there is a plan in place to maximize efficiency and increase ridership without increasing the costs.

“Maybe we could change the routes or do something else. We don’t seem to be gaining too much traction with that because there is a bit of a difference in the vision of what the program needs to be.”

Jacobson said it is important that BOLT serves a social need in Blackfalds, but the need in Lacombe is currently unclear.

“We are trying to determine what the actual demand is in Lacombe for those individuals to travel inter-municipally,” he said. “Obviously statistically speaking there will always be some and if you speak to them, they will have compelling stories. However, is it worth two percentage points of taxes to support that many people.

“That is the question this board has set out to answer and that is the mandate from the City of Lacombe. We have yet to reach that answer.”

The program is currently in no danger of being cancelled after the City entered into a contract with Burman University to extend the program for three years.

“For us to put a program into place and monitor the changes — it takes awhile. We are running short on time to do that. I don’t know what the next steps are but we need some clarity on what we are doing here,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce hosts 38th annual Spring Trade Show

Show runs April 26th, 27th at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

Lacombe Grade 6 students become Mayor for a Day at City Hall

Students took part in a mock City council meeting

Town of Blackfalds holds Multi-Plex Open House

Designs for dual-arena, expanded library shown at public consultation

Lacombe’s Galactic Wranglers Robotics Club earns way to World Championships

Community donates over $18,000 for Houston trip in five days

Lacombe Rams Rugby off to promising start in 2019

Coach looking for right mix of veterans and new players

Avalanche hot at the right time, cruise past Flames into second round

Avalanche onto second round with a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 5

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read