On-demand bus service will now stop in Lacombe

As the winter months arrive, Rob Duncan expects demand for his bus and taxi services to grow

East Central Express also offers wedding or event shuttle services and tours of the Rocky Mountains. Photo courtesy of East Central Express.

The East Central Express will now stop in Lacombe for residents wanting to travel to Red Deer or the surrounding areas.

The Lacombe Express previously reported that the East Central Express was having problems operating in Lacombe due to a transportation bylaw. However, Rob Duncan, owner of the East Central Express, has since acquired approval to operate in the city.

The East Central Express is an on-demand bus and taxi system that operates on an as-needed basis. Residents in Lacombe can call the company to arrange a ride and the taxi will take them anywhere in the city as well as to Edmonton and Calgary.

The bus system works a bit differently. It has fixed routes but it’s also flexible depending on where riders need to go. Similar to the taxi, residents can call the East Central Express and the bus will pick them up at their home. The main difference is that customers might have to be picked up an hour earlier or later depending on the rest of the bus-goers needs.

The main route is from Stettler to Red Deer with stops along the way, including Lacombe. The bus stops and picks up customers from three locations in Red Deer, the hospital, Red Deer College and the Red Arrow. These locations were based on where customers told Duncan they needed to go.

Duncan also offers discounted senior and student rates for those needing regular trips into Red Deer for hospital or college visits.

However, so far demand for the bus in Lacombe is lower than Duncan initially expected.

“I haven’t had very many calls out of Lacombe for service, although I do have some regulars from the County who are going to Stettler,” said Duncan.

According to Duncan, COVID-19 and a lack of awareness about the company may be to blame. He expects ridership to increase during the winter months and as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease and more services in Red Deer begin to reopen.

For both taxi and bus services, the East Central Express is following COVID-19 protocols set forth by Alberta Health Services. This includes mandatory mask use on the bus, the sanitization of all surfaces regularly and payment can be made digitally to avoid handling cash.

Lacombe Regional Tourism supports the transportation service and is optimistic about the impact it will have on the community.

“We look forward to promoting the opportunities being offered by East Central Express,” said Angel Hand, executive director for Lacombe Regional Tourism.

Residents interested in booking either vehicle can call East Central Express to arrange a ride and learn more about prices and packages available.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer.
photo submitted
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Traffic crosses over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver on July 2, 2015. Motorists would have to pay a fee to drive into downtown Vancouver under the city's plan to slow climate change but one expert warns it could pose financial hardship for some. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver’s climate plan ‘first 10 steps in a journey of 10,000,’ says expert

Almost 40 per cent of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from vehicles

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
After COVID-related transplant delays, 16-year-old N.S. girl gets lung transplant

‘This is the difficult time now of seeing Tahlia in ICU hooked up to 15 IVs and sedated’

Most Read