A transit system from Clairmont to Grande Prairie was a topic of discussion once again at this week’s County Council meeting.
It has been brought up in the past, but has not moved forward for a variety of reasons.
“We have residents in Clairmont who don’t have access to a vehicle or transportation. A public transit system would enable them to get into the city to do shopping, or medical or recreation, or even go to the college. There’s some opportunities there that they would certainly take advantage of,” said Kathleen Turner, Director of Family and Community Support Services. “There’s also an opportunity for people who are living in the city to catch transit to come out to the Clairmont area for employment. We’ve got a number of employers out there that would give them a whole new population to draw from.”
Turner adds the lack of transit between the hamlet and city has been highlighted as a critical issue in the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Gap Analysis report.
“The transit, as it exists right now, won’t connect with the new hospital very well… transit is a consideration that they need to look at for the hospital.”
The County also received a GreenTRIP grant of more than $270,000 from Alberta Infrastructure to purchase a new bus for transit from Clairmont to Grande Prairie.
“With things not moving along as quickly as we would like, that grant does expire at the end of this year. So, we will have to make that request to have an extension on the grant,” Turner explained.
The County says it would be willing to absorb any associated costs with the transit line, knowing in advance there would likely be an operational deficit.
Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework discussions between the City and County will begin this fall.