City of Edmonton rolls out after hours winter transportation services

Nov. 8, 2023
Two buses have already started operating the new winter services on Nov, 1 and will run until March 31, 2024.

The city of Edmonton, Alberta, will now be offering overnight transportation services to its community. The after-hours services will be offered all winter, regardless of the temperature. The initiative supports the advancement of the Community Safety and Well-being Strategy, approved by the city’s council last year. 

Two buses started operating Nov. 1 and will run until March 31, 2024, to supplement existing Edmonton Transit Service and the city’s Extreme Weather Response. 

Buses operate nightly throughout the winter on two different routes with multiple stops, picking up Edmontonians requiring transportation to emergency shelters, 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:

  1. North route starting from Northgate Transit Centre to downtown, 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
  2. 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 degree 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 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 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. They will take into account Environment Canada weather warnings, the existing capacity of Edmonton’s emergency shelter system and emerging concerns expressed by the homeless serving system of care.