Park and Ride at Century Park

Residents of Ward 10 and areas to the south have been using the Century Park Station Park and Ride for the last 5 years. Many of you know Park and Ride was never meant to be permanent, but some may not.

In 2010, the City signed a lease with the owner for a large chunk of land by Century Park station to develop the temporary parking lot that has become our present day Park and Ride. The lot has 1300 stalls, and 1000 of them are on land that is leased from the developer. We signed a five year contract, with the option for five one year extensions. We are currently in year five of the initial contract, and 2016 will see us taking our first one year extension on the project.

We’ve got five years to figure out an alternative to the current park and ride at Century Park, which will be in the hands of the developer come 2020. This is a unique opportunity to rethink how we handle transit in south Edmonton, and really throughout the City.

In the 2015-2018 Capital Budget, funding for the Heritage Valley Park and Ride was approved, so we know that that space will be in place, with the potential for a shuttle bus service between Heritage Valley Park and Ride and the Century Park train station. Administration will be providing Transportation Committee with a report on the options for an enhanced bus strategy between Heritage Valley and Century Park. The most important strategy however will be improving express bus service from the communities surrounding Century Park.

The City does own a small piece of the land at the current location of the Century Park Station Park and Ride, and Administration will be exploring options to develop a mixed use residential/public parking facility on that site. The site would probably yield around 300 parking stalls, so that structure would supplement a better express bus strategy.

The other piece of this puzzle is our work with our regional partners. The LRT park and ride is used by a good number of people from the neighbouring municipalities, and this trend with likely continue with the new park and ride facility at Heritage Valley. The City will be looking into options for developing a regional cost sharing strategy for the design and construction of the Heritage Valley site, as it will definitely be of benefit to current or prospective transit riders from Leduc, Nisku, and parts of south Edmonton.

In my view, an effective system of moving people out of neighbourhoods would be one where a well run system of express buses (equipped with SMARTbus technology to tell you the exact arrival time) would leave from different parts of south Edmonton - Leger, Terwillegar, Blue Quill, Twin Brooks, Aspen Gardens, Greenfield, Duggan, Royal Gardens etc and would take people directly to the train.

This might mean that residents would have to walk a couple extra blocks to the bus stop, but from there, they could ride direct to the station with minimal stops. Bus service through neighbourhoods will still be a vital piece of our transit plan, but those direct bus routes could provide an efficient alternative to those who currently drive and park at Century Park Station Park and Ride.

The motions from this week’s Transportation Committee are below:

  • That Administration provide a report to include an enhanced express bus strategy between neighbouring communities and Century Park LRT, and between the future Heritage Valley Park and Ride and Century Park.
  • That Administration work with relevant regional partners to provide a report on a regional cost sharing strategy for full design and construction and use of the Heritage Valley Park and Ride.
  • That Administration provide a report with potential options to develop a mixed use residential/public parking facility on the City-owned land on the northwest corner of the Century Park site.

As an additional note, a number of astute constituents have contacted me recently suggesting that part of this park and ride issue could be resolved by opening more stations along the south part of the Capital LRT line. 19-20% of the users of the Century Park Station Park and Ride are coming from areas like Greenfield and Duggan where there is no access to a LRT station. Opening an additional station along the line, particularly at Harry Ainlay near Greenfield could do a lot to improve the parking situation at Century Park.