In continued response to COVID-19 and its impact on Spruce Grove Transit ridership, the City has decided to temporarily cancel two morning trips on commuter Route 560 and extend the suspension of the commuter connector shuttle service (Routes 566 and 567).
Starting Monday, June 29, two morning trips on Route 560 will be temporarily cancelled until Aug. 31. The impacted trips depart from Century Road and Grove Drive at 6:35 and 7:15 a.m. and end in downtown Edmonton at 7:20 and 8:06 a.m.
With the exception of the service schedule changes between June 29 and Aug. 31, Route 560’s current schedule will remain in place until the end of 2020.
The commuter connector shuttle service (Routes 566 and 567) will remain temporarily suspended until Jan. 4, 2021. This service was temporarily suspended in April due to a decline in ridership as a result of COVID-19.
When service on Routes 566 and 567 resumes in January, transit fares will be collected at the local transit rates. Both local riders and those connecting to Spruce Grove Transit commuter routes will be required to present a valid fare product or cash fare when boarding.
Commuter transit fare products, including the monthly commuter pass, monthly youth/student commuter pass, monthly integrated pass, the U-Pass and Spruce Grove Transit tickets, will also be accepted on Routes 566 and 567.
Transfers are not offered on/between the local or commuter services.
How do these changes impact post-secondary students?
Post-secondary schools have announced that classes will be offered online this fall and so ridership is expected to remain low until the end of the year. Students account for approximately 40 per cent of transit users during the fall and winter months, and it is estimated that ridership has recently declined by 90 per cent.
What about the school-aged children who use the shuttle service to get to local schools?
We recognize that school-aged children use the shuttle service to travel to local schools; however, the volume of children using this service is not enough to resume Routes 566 and 567 at this time.
Why are local fare rates being added to the shuttle service in January?
Fares were not originally charged on the shuttle service (Routes 566 and 567) because it was thought that almost all passengers would use the shuttle to connect to the commuter service and that their fare would be collected on the commuter bus.
However, a significant number of riders use the shuttle service to complete a local trip and do not connect to the commuter service, and therefore have not paid to ride. Collecting a local fare rate on Routes 566 and 567 will bring the shuttle service in line with the City’s local Route 568 and share the cost of service more equitably between users.
Similar to Route 568, commuter transit fare products, including the monthly commuter pass, monthly youth/student commuter pass, monthly integrated pass, the U-Pass and Spruce Grove Transit tickets, will be accepted on Routes 566 and 567.