The City of Edmonton announced it has launched a new overnight transportation service that will be offered all winter, regardless of the temperature, to better support Edmontonians needing access to available shelter spaces.
This initiative supports the advancement of the Community Safety and Well-being Strategy, approved by the City Council last year.
Two buses started operating on Nov. 1 and will run until March 31, 2024, to supplement the existing Edmonton Transit Service and the City’s Extreme Weather Response.
Winter Bus Service
Buses operate nightly throughout the winter on two different routes with multiple stops, picking up Edmontonians requiring transportation to emergency shelters, and supplementing regular ETS service options.
Staff are present on each bus to support passengers with access to available shelter spaces and referrals to other services. The routes are:
- North route starting from Northgate Transit Centre to downtown, 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
- South route starting from Southgate Transit Centre to downtown, 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Extreme Weather Response
During an extreme weather response, which is activated when forecasts indicate temperatures will be below -20 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days with wind chill, the following measures will be activated:
- A third bus will be added to the overnight transportation service so that there is more capacity for transporting people to available shelters.
- 50 temporary shelter spaces will open at the City-funded Al Rashid Mosque in north Edmonton to supplement the existing shelter capacity funded by the Government of Alberta.
- Open City facilities such as recreation centers and libraries will be available for anyone to get out of the extreme cold and warm up.
The City, Homeward Trust, and community partners work together to determine when it is appropriate to activate the City’s extreme weather response.