Here's how the City of Edmonton is adjusting its pandemic response

Mar 17 2020, 11:28 pm

After the City of Edmonton faced backlash when they made the move to a reduced transit schedule, it is now making further amendments in what they are calling a fluid and ongoing situation.

In a press conference held Tuesday afternoon, Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin announced updated amendments to the transit schedule, stating that there will be added service on certain routes during peak hours to avoid crowding, as well as extra buses on standby in case there is a heavy ridership.

“When we scaled back transit service, we made the right decision, but the customer service experience wasn’t what it should have been. Today, we are adjusting and we are responding to these realities,” said Laughlin.

“These are unprecedented times, and we are figuring things out, minute by minute and hour by hour.”

Edmonton Transit Service Branch Manager Eddie Robar also confirmed that effective immediately, ETS is adding service to routes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 15, 17, and 112, adding more service in the morning on route 100 tomorrow morning, and adding back routes that don’t exist on a Saturday schedule, like routes 16, 80, 83, 84, 92, 95, 122, 137, 182, and 331.

Support buses will be on hand, and the city says it will continue to make amendments.

Mayor Don Iveson also confirmed in a press conference that the City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in response to the provincial declaration of a public health emergency.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion that the city will need to, or the circumstances warrant the declaration of a local state of emergency, but that option is always available to us, and the situation is changing very quickly,” said Iveson.

“The emergency operations centre is a dedicated facility, staffed by city employees who are trained in emergency management,” said Deputy Fire Chief and Head of the Emergency Operations Centre, Rob Squire.

“The purpose of activating the emergency operations centre is to ensure that we are able to operate and deliver services to ensure the safety of our citizens, and that the city can continue to offer its critical and vital services.”

Mayor Iveson says that the council’s Emergency Advisory Committee meeting will take place at city hall tomorrow to continue the ongoing discussions about the city’s response to the pandemic.

With coronavirus on the rise, Alberta Health Services is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.

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