Irricana in line for potential CRP transit study
Monday, Mar 11, 2013 01:03 pm
The Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) is working out the feasibility of regional transportation including a potential bus loop running from Irricana to Airdrie.
Irricana Councillor Josh Taylor reported the potential for such a bus loop during the March 4 Town council meeting.
Taylor stated in his report that certain economic factors would have to improve in order for the bus loop to become a reality, but said it’s great that Irricana is being considered.
“Since we’ve become a member of the CRP, which is about three years, there has been no thought of Irricana being helped by the CRP at all,” said Taylor.
“It’s very good that Irricana is being taken seriously at CRP as a vital player in this game.”
Taylor said that the CRP could perform a feasibility study on Irricana within the next few years.
According to Ettore Iannacito, the CRP’s regional transportation manager, Cochrane recently completed its feasibility study, while Chestermere and Okotoks are currently in the process of doing so.
Iannacito says they’re trying to look at transportation from a regional perspective as opposed to individual municipalities.
“If the CRP had to do it, how could it be done differently?” said Iannacito.
“Within that context we went and visited all the municipalities, the smaller municipalities, because we consider them all very important and basically said to them, if we were able to implement transit within the next five to 10 years or even 10 to 20 years, what would your transit needs be?”
Iannacito explained that it’s only a hypothetical scenario at the moment, but if it’s something wanted by the people of Irricana, it’s possible.
However, Taylor isn’t so sure Irricana residents want such a transportation system.
He explained a few years ago he discussed the possibility of such a bus loop with residents and the idea never got off the table.
“I grew up in a small town … as soon as you turn 16 and you get your driver’s licence, that’s it, you don’t have to wait for the bus,” said Taylor.
Taylor expressed the town is changing with more people coming to Irricana who grew up in urban settings and might be more accustomed to taking the bus.
“If you grew up in a small town, your car is a symbol of freedom,” said Taylor.
“But now with gas prices going up, etc. … that will affect a lot of people who were not specifically raised in small towns or rural Alberta. They are more used to the convenience of taking the bus.”
Once reports are completed in Chestermere and Okotoks, Irricana will be considered.