Up – Up – Up – Up. Up on Transit Style

Ridership Increase

Following a trend that began over 10 years ago, more and more Edmontonians are taking transit. Ridership[i] for Edmonton Transit System (ETS) increased by 3.1% in 2012, with the number of trips jumping from 80.3 million in 2011 to 82.8 million last year.

Annual LRT boardings[ii] were up by 1.8% in 2012 and have more than doubled since 2003.

Factors of Growth

Some of the ridership increase can be attributed to population growth and residential development, particularly on the south side of the city.

In September 2012, ETS brought significant improvements to its bus service that contributed to the increase:

  • A new cross-town route between Mill Woods and West Edmonton Mall via Century Park and Leger
  • A direct link between Ambleside and Leger
  • A peak period link between Silverberry and Meadows Transit Centre
  • Route extensions to South Callaghan and South Hamptons
  • New service to the Pylypow Industrial area
  • New community bus routes in Capilano and Mill Woods
  • Additional trips or adjustments on routes that were experiencing capacity or schedule issues

ETS enhanced off-peak service on the most utilized bus routes and added additional service in a few neighbourhoods. This included new weekday late night, week-end morning and week-end evening buses.

ETS’ marketing programs also contributed to the popularity of transit in the past year.

ETS@Work grew by nearly 20%. Currently, 82 local companies partner with ETS to provide a discount on transit passes for their employees and encourage commitment to transit.

The U-Pass also helped consolidate transit as a preferred option for students. It provides 54,000 thousand students from the University of Alberta, MacEwan and NAIT access to regular transit services on ETS, St. Albert Transit and Strathcona County Transit.


Change in Motion

If we look at how Edmontonians traveled to, from and through the downtown over the past few years, we can see a positive change. More people are choosing to give their car a break and are now walking or taking transit.

The proportion of daily trips made by automobile into and out of the downtown has declined from 69% in 2009 to 66% in 2012.

Shifting to more sustainable transportation options is one of the City’s highest priorities, as outlined in The Way We Move, the Transportation Master Plan.

Transportation Mode

Daily Mode Share to/from Downtown in


Daily Mode Share to/from Downtown in







– 3%

 Transit (bus and LRT)



+ 2%




+ 1%






LRT Facts

  • Downtown and the University of Alberta’s main campus are the primary destinations on the LRT line:
    • The five downtown stations (Churchill, Central,Bay/Enterprise Square,Corona, Grandin/Government Centre) show a total of 29,395 people getting on and 29,135 people getting off the LRT daily
    • The two University area stations (University and Health Sciences/Jubilee) show a total of 21,058 people getting on and 21,571 people getting off the LRT daily
    • University is the busiest LRT station, with 14,352 people getting on and 15,105 people getting off the LRT daily
  • On a typical weekday, 87% of the LRT Park & Ride parking spaces (at Clareview, Belvedere, Stadium, andCenturyPark) are occupied by 8 a.m. and 98% are occupied by 10 a.m.

Detailed ridership reports are available at www.edmonton.ca/RidershipReports.


[i] Annual transit ridership figures refer to the total number of linked trips. A linked trip is the complete ride from an origin to a destination, no matter how many transfers between buses (or between LRT and buses) it takes to complete the trip.

[ii] A boarding is counted each time a passenger boards a bus or LRT vehicle, even though the boarding may be the result of a transfer from another route to complete the same one-way journey. For example, if a passenger boards three different buses to get to a destination, then the overall trip will add three boardings to the daily total.



Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on FacebookShare on LinkedIn
About the Author
Miriam Bard-Dumont
Miriam Bard-Dumont provides communications support for Transportation Planning. For the past three years, she�s been getting the word out about future projects such as bike lanes, roads and LRT lines. Her role is to make it easy for people to get informed and involved in projects that will shape our City.
  1. […] for more information about marketing initiatives that contribute to ETS success. Visit Transforming Edmonton for additional details on transit ridership, and the online gallery for photos. Share […]

  2. […] a trend that began over 10 years ago, more and more Edmontonians are taking transit. Ridership[i] for Edmonton Transit System (ETS) increased by 3.1% in 2012, with the number of trips jumping from […]


Featured Posts