ETS Projects & Initiatives
20 ETS Blue - A Smart Card
22 Vigil Vanguard Training System
24 ETS Control Centre Upgrades
25 Replacement Radio System
26 Transit on Google Maps
14 ETS Launches an AIR MILES®
16 Upgrading the Fare
17 Evaluating the U-Pass Program
18 Forecasting Demand
for DATS Services
19 Enviso Certification
FACILITIES & INFRASTRUCTURE
6 Centennial Garage
7 DATS Fleet Replacement
8 Expanding the LRT System
9 Southwest Service Changes
10 Long Range Plans for LRT
11 ETS Community Fair
13 Stay Safe Around LRT - TraxSafe
“I use the bus everyday to travel
to and from work. It is the best
transit service I have ever had
for my daily commute.”
General Manager Transportation Department
TO GET TO
EVERY EMPLOYEE HAS A
UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT
ROLE TO PLAY IN MAKING
EDMONTON TRANSIT THE
Our customers choose to use ETS for a variety of reasons - reasons
that are as unique as our customers. “The Every Day Way” is our
new marketing initiative that speaks to those very real, personal,
and individual reasons. Through this advertising initiative we hope
to better position public transit as the preferred choice of travel.
While this advertising campaign becomes the current ‘new look’
for Edmonton Transit, it is in clear support of our vision statement:
“To provide a fully integrated, easy-to-use public transit system that
supports economic development and improves the quality of life in
That vision remains at the core of our business: Realizing that
vision takes the daily efforts of more than 2000 Transit employees.
It takes planning, innovation, and attention to detail. It takes the
co-ordination and co-operation of various work units within ETS,
and a number of City departments and branches.
Seated behind the wheel of a bus, service vehicle, or computer
screen, each of our employees sees only a small portion of what
goes into a day in Edmonton Transit. Yet, each plays an integral
role in making Edmonton Transit the preferred choice for travel
every day. It’s important that you understand how your work and
the work of your colleagues comes together to fit the big picture.
Within these pages you’ll read about some of the projects and
initiatives underway within various areas of ETS. There’s a lot of
interesting and diverse work happening. Enjoy the read. And if
you want to know more, please let us know.
Manager Edmonton Transit System
SECTION 2007 2008
Service Delivery 80% 87%
Fleet & Facilities 88% 84%
Safety & Security 76% 83%
Operator Performance 88% 89%
Overall Satisfaction 88% 92%
DATS Overall Satisfaction 93% 95%
… TO GET TO
•Highest ever service ridership
66.1 million passenger trips
•Service increased by 69,692 hours
•Over 300% overall growth in the
ETS@Work commuter program
•Launched Unrestricted Student Pass
•Received CUTA National Transit
Corporate Recognition Award for 2008
•Implemented DATS Trapeze
computer system (aka EDITH)
•Debut of the ETS Platinum Cruiser
•Hosted 2008 CUTA Conference
•Successful Centennial Celebration
•Completed expansion of DLM
•Launched “Green & Go” initiative
with the Edmonton Eskimos
With construction well underway, the new garage in southwest
Edmonton is on target to be operational with the 2010 April
sign-up. The garage is officially named the ETS Centennial Garage
to commemorate Edmonton Transit's 100th anniversary of service.
Centennial Garage will accommodate both bus storage and
maintenance, and will house approximately 250 buses. ETS is very
proud of the fact that the building will meet LEED silver certification
level. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Green Building Rating System is an internationally accepted
benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high
performance green buildings. Some of the elements that are
making the LEED silver certification possible include:
•Storm water management: Surface storm water runoff from
Centennial Garage will be collected and used by the adjacent
snow storage site and their snow melt treatment process.
•Solar wall system to assist with building heating during sunny
•Solar reflectance roofing system.
•Use of regional materials: Projected that 20% of project
construction materials will be local.
•Landscaping: Using drought-resistant and/or local plant species.
•Construction waste management: Diverting 75% of materials
from landfill site by recycling & reuse of materials.
•Site lighting reduction: Design calls for no spillage of light
off the site property.
•Reducing use of potable water by 20% with low flush fixtures,
faucets and showerheads.
… TO GO GREEN
DATS FLEET REPLACEMENT
The replacement of the DATS fleet is proceeding as per the plan
proposed in the 2008 DATS Fleet Study. Five units are scheduled
to be replaced this year and tentatively in-service by the end of
2009. No growth units are scheduled for purchase in 2009 as
an acceptable spare-ratio was achieved with the 2008 additions.
Key stakeholder groups, including DATS Operators, DATS users,
Operations Technicians, and Service Coordinators, are involved
in this project. DATS is gathering input from DATS Operators on
issues/suggestions pertaining to vehicle matters, and
DATS users and
place in March.
FACILITIES & INFRASTRUCTURE
“For Edmonton Transit, being green is
built into every aspect of our operations.
People automatically think about our
fleet of buses which is being converted
to clean diesel engines. But our facilities
have green standards too. We’re very
proud that the Centennial Garage will
be a high performance building in all
areas from design and construction
through to operations and will meet
LEED silver standards.”
Director Fleet & Facilities
EXPANDING THE LRT SYSTEM
Ensuring that Edmonton’s roads and transit system meet the
needs of our growing population is the cornerstone of the City’s
Transportation Master Plan. Expanding the LRT system is an
important step toward providing residents a wider range of travel
options and reducing the community and environmental impacts
of expanding roads.
All Aboard for South Campus
The long-awaited South LRT expansion took a leap forward with
the opening of McKernan/Belgravia and South Campus stations.
The official ceremony took place on April 25, 2009, bringing
dignitaries from all levels of government and the University of
Alberta out for the occasion. The opening of these two stations
marks the beginning of a new era in LRT, bringing service into
… TO A QUICK
SOUTHWEST SERVICE CHANGES
The start of LRT service to South Campus meant the restructuring
of many bus routes in southwest Edmonton to connect into the LRT
system with South Campus. The South Campus LRT Station provides
quick and easy access to the University, downtown core and points
north. In keeping with the overall goal of having an efficient bus
service that feeds into an LRT framework, bus service that duplicates
LRT service was removed. The same strategy will apply when the LRT
extension to Century Park opens, as well as in all future expansions
of the system.
“One of Edmonton Transit’s goals is to
link people and places in the most
efficient manner possible. As the LRT
system expands, bus routes will need to
be restructured to integrate with the
system as a whole and to better meet
the demands of a growing population.”
LONG RANGE PLANS FOR LRT
The City’s long-range planning for LRT expansion involves a
network of six legs which are in various stages of planning,
design and construction.
There are three concept planning studies (currently underway or
due to start this year) to identify the corridors where future lines
would operate. These include a line to west Edmonton, a line
between downtown and Mill Woods Town Centre, and a line to
north Edmonton and St. Albert. The Transportation Department will
present corridor recommendations to City Council this fall. Building
these lines is likely years away, but with corridors approved, land
acquisition can begin.
The final leg of the current
south LRT extension project
is scheduled to begin revenue
service to Southgate and
Century Park in 2010.
… TO GET TO
THE BIG GAME
With concept plans approved, several projects are now in
the detailed engineering or construction phase.
NAIT extension – A final date has not been set, but work on
the NAIT extension has begun. The LRT tunnel under the new
EPCOR building at 101 Street and 105 Avenue is being built.
The project team is continuing its work to ensure that the
station integrates well into the adjacent communities.
Gorman extension – Funding for a one station extension
of the northeast line to Gorman was recently announced.
Engineering is underway and construction is scheduled to be
complete by 2011.
Heritage Valley – The concept plan for running the line
south of Century Park was approved last year and preliminary
design work is underway for the section to Ellerslie Road. The
City of Edmonton is also proposing a Park and Ride facility at
Ellerslie Road and 127 Street with completion to coincide with
the opening of Century Park LRT station. This proposal goes to
City Council in June.
“LRT is an efficient way to quickly
move large numbers of people.
By the time service extends to
Century Park, we anticipate that
ridership will be nearly double
that of 2008 figures.”
Director LRT Operations
ETS COMMUNITY FAIR
The opening ceremony for McKernan/Belgravia and South
Campus stations was just the start to the day, as ETS hosted its
first-ever Community Fair in celebration of the event. The free,
day-long event replaced the Annual Community Conference of
previous years and was open to the community. The Community
Fair featured family-oriented activities, entertainment, ETS
information and displays, and ETS facility and LRT construction
tours. Of course, being among the first to ride the LRT into the
new station was a highlight of the event. The University of
Alberta, a key stakeholder in this portion of the south LRT
expansion, was a sponsor of the event and had displays and
information as well. The Community Fair was a huge success and
the concept will be used again in 2010 to showcase the LRT
extension to Southgate and Century Park.
… TO GET TO
STAY SAFE AROUND LRT
With LRT running through residential areas, a whole new set of
safety issues rose to the forefront. ETS Community Relations
developed the TraxSafe LRT safety orientation program highlighting
the need for pedestrians and motorists to pay attention to their own
safety in LRT zones. The program was delivered this spring to local
schools, organizations, and community residents in proximity to the
new south LRT line. The program will be rolled out next year to
communities along the next leg of the south LRT extension.
For more information on the program
ETS LAUNCHES AN
AIR MILES® PILOT PROGRAM
Edmonton Transit is very pleased to be working with
AIR MILES on a pilot program that will provide Edmontonians
the opportunity to redeem their accumulated reward miles
for an ETS Adult Monthly Pass.
The recently launched program was introduced by the
Business Development section with the intention of
strengthening positive customer perception, loyalty, and
ultimately reinforcing the position of ETS as the ‘preferred
choice of travel.’
“Business Development is always looking for
ways to increase ridership and revenue, while
improving value and service for our
customers. The search for those win-win
situations involves creativity, business sense,
and an understanding of our customers.
I think the new AIR MILES program and the
use of Smart cards will prove to be perfect
examples of such success.”
… TO SAVE MONEY
The process to redeem AIR MILES
reward miles is quick, straightforward
and convenient: Customers simply
follow the links from takeETS.com.
AIR MILES will mail the pass directly
to customers just prior to the month
THE EVERY in which it becomes active.
DAY WAY TO Customers will have the opportunity
RIDE WITH to provide feedback on the pilot
program via the online survey on
AIR MILES® takeETS.com later this summer.
UPGRADING THE FARE
Edmonton Transit has been experiencing above average industry
growth in ridership throughout most of the past decade. One of the
many challenges associated with trying to keep up with customer
demand is ensuring that customers can conveniently purchase the
fare product needed to ride the system.
While recent years have seen numerous improvements in this area
(including the introduction of the public online store, the U-Pass
and ETS@Work fare programs, the streamlining of ordering
processes for retail vendors, and the installation of Fare Vending
Machines on the LRT system), a major focus for Edmonton Transit
will be the opening of additional outlets in under-represented areas
of the city. This includes southwest Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall
and surrounding communities, and the downtown core.
In addition, Edmonton Transit will work with existing outlets to
ensure that they are carrying sufficient inventory to meet growing
sales demand and shifts in purchasing patterns. ETS has contracts
with over 180 retailers (not including schools). This number is
expected to grow to over 200 by the end of the year.
… TO GET TO
The third and final year of the pilot U-Pass program will begin this
September. Implemented in the fall of 2007, the final phase will be
complete on April 30, 2010.
For the program to continue beyond April 2010, a full evaluation,
including terms for making the program permanent, must first be
approved by City Council, then by participating students.
Research was conducted among participating students in the fall of
2007 and 2008, and again in March of 2009. The data collected
will be reviewed to assess the level of success of the U-Pass
program, and will be used to support recommendations to City
Council regarding the program. The final report to Council is
scheduled for inclusion in the 2010 budget deliberations and will
be submitted in August.
FOR DATS SERVICES
Since its inception in 1975, the delivery of para-transit services by
DATS has created strategic planning and financial challenges.
The rapid growth experienced by the city, along with changes in
demographics and social conditions, have made it necessary to
undertake a comprehensive, long-term review of future demands
and delivery approaches for DATS services.
In accordance with the policy statements provided within the
Transportation Master Plan, the delivery of DATS services must
be reviewed as part of the bigger picture of ETS accessibility.
This project involves forecasting the future demand for DATS
services, researching innovative approaches undertaken by other
para-transit service providers to manage demand (industry best
practices), and assessing approaches to more fully integrate
delivery with conventional bus and rail services. The terms of
reference for this project are currently being prepared.
“DATS trip numbers have increased by almost
10 per cent in the last two years, an increase
which has been accommodated within the
existing budget. While we continue to adapt
our processes to meet growing demands for
our service in the most efficient manner
possible, we are also looking at
ways to integrate our riders into
ETS services which will soon be
fully accessible with the
retirement of the GMCs
and trolleys in our fleet.”
Director DATS Operations
… TO SAVE
In February 2009, an external auditor declared Edmonton Transit's
Environmental Management System (Enviso) to be ISO 14001:2004
Certified. By achieving registration we have fulfilled our initial
requirements for City of Edmonton Policy C505.
Enviso is used as a tool by Edmonton Transit to confirm our
commitment to the City of Edmonton Policy C512. We are currently
capturing information on our existing environmental programs,
creating new programs to improve the environment, developing
operating procedures to control our impact on the environment and
ensuring compliance with environmental laws.
ISO certification lasts for three years, but requires yearly surveillance
audits during that certification period. Maintenance of the system and
ISO 14001 certification is required as part of City of Edmonton Policy
C505. The Enviso system will require on-going maintenance and
external auditing unless there are changes to C505.
As the need for an integrated regional transit network increases,
modernizing our fare collection system will become of paramount
importance. That’s where the potential of smart card technology
comes into the picture. A smart card can replace various passes
and tickets with a single fare medium that can be used across the
entire transit system, including other municipalities who are
equipped with smart card validators. Ridership levels and changes
can be monitored and specialized fare programs designed in order
to encourage transit ridership.
With the LRT system now fully equipped to accept the smart card,
the ‘ETS Blue’ Smart Card Demonstration Project is well underway.
While ETS has been partnering with the University of Alberta to
allow University staff to access the LRT line using their staff
identification card for some time now, the partnership is now
being expanded to include
the use of smart cards on
the LRT which will help in TESTING THE
the testing and evaluation
of equipment, back-end
SMART WAY TO
infrastructure and logistics.TRAVEL ON ETS
ETS has completed a business case that identifies the value
of smart cards in reducing fare product costs, reducing fraud,
simplifying bus boarding and make transit a more user-friendly,
customer-focused experience. The real-time data produced by
a smart card system is invaluable in planning improvements to
service, as well as tracking the impact of any service changes.
… TO GET TO
Ensuring that our operators are well-equipped to deal with the
responsibility of driving our vehicles is of paramount importance.
The ETS Training section welcomes any tool that can help advance
this goal. Earlier this year, Edmonton Transit began using the Vigil
Vanguard On-Road Operator Training and Evaluation System, a
system designed to improve operator performance on the road.
The Vigil Vanguard system provides unbiased feedback on an
operator’s ability to manoeuvre the bus and provide customer-
focused service. It accurately captures and documents unsafe
driving habits, operator behaviours and interactions, provides
objective feedback for each individual through the reports which
outline driving events, and provides corrective advice on areas
that need improvement. These reports are used to benchmark
operators across the organization to “raise the bar” in driving
This new training system will allow ETS to:
Efficiently produce safe, confident operators
accidents and incidents by correcting risky driving habits,
operator errors and behaviors
Increase training productivity and effectiveness
operating expenses (including training and maintenance)
The benefits of the Vigil Vanguard system include:
Reduced frequency and severity of losses
Automated alerts to management about unsafe driving events
Automated driver recommendations and follow-up actions
for management to benchmark drivers and profile
Improved quality, consistency of driver performance evaluations
access to driver performance history
… TO UNWIND
“Edmonton Transit’s reputation
as a safe, reliable mode of
transportation is built on the
professionalism of our operators.
The skill of the operator behind
the wheel directly affects the
comfort level of our passengers.”
Director Bus Operations
ETS received funding from the Federal Transit-Secure Contribution
Program for three projects designed to provide the foundation for
enhanced anti-terrorism response capabilities. These projects are
interdependent, and together, enhance the safety and security of
the Edmonton Transit System and create efficiencies and improve
effectiveness in the ETS Control Centre.
Command & Control Common Operational Picture
Establishes a foundation for the next steps through the installation
of a state of the art computer aided dispatch system. This system
will allow the ETS Control Centre to track events and resources in
an integrated fashion to safely respond to and mitigate an
emergency incident. Furthermore, it will provide ETS with the
foundational capability to share information and interoperate with
other emergency stakeholders.
Extending the Common Operational Picture to the Enterprise
Allows us to track ETS security personnel in real time and provide
them with mobile access to the incident data base. Security
personnel will be equipped with mobile data terminals, Global
Positioning Systems and Automatic Vehicle Locater Systems. ETS
will gain a consequence management system for building and
mobilizing pre-planned responses to specific events.
Integrates alarm and CCTV inputs into the dispatch console to
enhance the ability to efficiently detect and respond to security
incidents throughout the ETS network. Security personnel will have
greater access to information, thus improving their ability to make
quick and informed decisions during an emergency incident.
“ETS Safety & Security is working 24/7/365 to
ensure the safety of employees and customers.
We leverage technology in an effort to ensure
that our resources are deployed in the most
efficient and effective manner possible.”
… TO COMMUTE
WITH LESS STRESS
This year, the mobile and portable radio systems will be replaced in all
LRT trains, buses, and Safety/Security vehicles. Edmonton Police and
Fire Rescue Services already use this radio system. It boasts many
advantages, efficiencies, and security functions compared to the current
radio system. Replacement of the radios in our fleet will begin this fall
after the required upgrade to the base system is complete.
New Radio System Features
Multiple talk groups (channels)
All radios tuned to the same talk group can communicate with each
other without interfering with other talk groups.
Request to Talk (RTT) function
All calls enter a queue. Control responds in first-come, first-serve order.
One-on-one talk capability
Control responds to calls in queue on an individual basis.
Bus emergency security functions
Activating the radio system emergency function automatically initiates a
series of security features including placement of an emergency call to
Control and activation of the microphone so Control can hear what is
taking place on the bus.
Safety & Security
On February 18, 2009, Transit on Google Maps was
launched for Edmonton Transit. The successful launch of this
new service option was the culmination of a collaborative
effort between ETS staff, the City's Information Technology
Branch, and Google.
Google’s trip planning feature is an enhancement to the
existing means of providing information to Edmonton Transit
riders. It operates using the same scheduling data used by the
ETS Trip Planner, but presents it in the traditional Google
format that is familiar to so many people – a great advantage
for visitors to our city! Trip plan results include a Google map
showing the transit trip, departure times, bus stop locations,
transfer information, and walking route details. It's easy to
email the Google transit trip plan too.
Transit on Google Maps is available on mobile devices (such
as iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile) putting trip
planning in the palm of your hand. Google Maps supports
multiple languages, so it’s convenient for international users.
“Connecting our customers to current,
accurate ETS information is an
ongoing process that is made all the
more interesting by the rapidly
changing face of technology. Today,
it’s Transit info at your fingertips with
Transit on Google Maps. Tomorrow…”
Director Community Relations
VALUES & OPERATING PRINCIPLES
Our values relate to management style & attitude.
Our operating principles provide specific
structure & expectations for operations.
•Measurable Performance & Outcomes
•Prominence of Safety
•Decisions Based on Business Rationale
•Clear Lines of Responsibility & Authority
•Practical Organizational Structure
•Resources to Support Operations
•Defined Policies, Procedures & Processes
•Employee Training & Development
•Strategic & Tactical Planning
•Program & Work Scheduling
•Adherence to Budget
TO AVOID PARKING HASSLES
TO SAVE MONEY
TO GO GREEN WITH A NEW ROUTINE
TO UNWIND DURING RUSH HOUR
EVERY DAY WAY?