The City of Saskatoon is proposing some major changes in order to accommodate Bus Rapid Transit and they want to know what you think of it. Lesley Anderson, Director of Planning and Development, says the meeting is next Wednesday to discuss making 3rd Avenue, Broadway Avenue and/or College Drive Bus Rapid Transit Routes.
Anderson says in terms of those who use the bus one of the biggest changes will be moving from a hub based transit system which focuses on minimizing the number of transfers.
“Lawson Heights Mall, Market Mall, Centre Mall, Downtown, Confed and that’s what we would be moving away from. So you can transfer onto the BRT at any point along its line.”
Brent Penner, Executive Director of Downtown Saskatoon says the vast majority of businesses downtown are concerned about the BRT plan which could mean pulling out the median and eliminating parking in order to facilitate a double dedicated bus lane with bus shelters in the middle of the roadway.
He says they sent a letter to the city outlining their concerns and have suggested an alternative.
“Really, we hope that they do consider 1st Avenue as a potential option. We think it’s, over the long haul, which this plan really is a growth plan to 5-hundred-thousand people, and the need and desire to look for densification. We think there is great opportunity, especially as you move north on 1st to service the area that would be where the city yards is.”
The estimated cost is 125 million dollars give or take 25%.
If you go to the city website you will find a link to write to City Council and through the link, a request to speak at the special meeting of the Governance and Priorities committee June 20th which includes all members of council.