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Banff Avenue transit hub planned

Construction of a $500,000 transit hub in Banff is set to roll ahead.
A view of a proposed transit hub location on Banff Avenue.
A view of a proposed transit hub location on Banff Avenue.

Construction of a $500,000 transit hub in Banff is set to roll ahead.

The transit terminal will be located on both sides of Banff Avenue at Elk Street, just outside Banff Community High School for northbound routes and the Rundle parkette near IGA for southbound buses.

Officials say a transit hub will provide a waiting space and amenities for passengers of all Roam routes in Banff, as well as regional and Calgary-to-Banff transit. It will complement the primary transit hub planned for the train station.

Councillor Chip Olver said a key part of encouraging visitors and residents to take Roam transit is to provide a comfortable waiting area.

“I’ve been concerned for those who take our transit system and they’re out in the weather with no protection,” she said. “I’m really glad to see some sort of shelter as part of this, not just for education of our transit system, but for users to be much more comfortable as they wait.”

The hub will include passenger amenities such as signage, NextBus display, benches and waste bins.

Design work for the project is currently underway and construction is due to start during summer and be completed by the end of 2018.

The Province is kicking in $333,333 for the project through its GreenTrip infrastructure program, while the Town of Banff will debt fund the remaining $166,667.

“With such substantial funding from another source, this makes it so possible for us to go forward with this,” said Olver.

Pierre-Hugues Gagnon, the Town of Banff’s engineering coordinator, said the hub will be able to accommodate two buses at the same time and can accommodate potential future transit system growth.

Due to the seasonal increase in bus service, Gagnon said the current car parking lane adjacent to the Banff Community High School field will be converted into a transit zone during summer months.

He said an agreement to allow part of the construction on high school lands is being hammered out with Canadian Rockies Public Schools.

“At this stage, the removal of two car parking stalls in front of the Unlimited store will be required to ensure efficient transit service delivery,” he said, referring to the other side of Banff Avenue. “The remainder of the area is planned to be re-purposed into pedestrian space.”

Construction of a transit terminal to help increase transit ridership and get more vehicles off the road was identified in Banff’s 2013 transportation master plan and 2016 long-term transportation study.

In 2017, the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission undertook a comprehensive review on local Roam service, also identifying the need for a downtown transit terminal to complement the planned train station hub.

Councillor Grant Canning said he is thrilled to see this project moving ahead.

“I always thought a hub is such an important component with what we’re trying to do with transit,” he said.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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