The History of St. Albert Transit
Historically, there was once an inter-urban railway that operated between St. Albert and Calder in Edmonton. The service began in 1913 but on April 1, 1914, the storage barn was destroyed by fire and the service never resumed.
1950s / 60s
Several bus companies operated services from St. Albert, including Northland Arrow, Sunburst Bus Lines, Canadian Coachways and Western Bus Lines.
The Town of St. Albert assumed the responsibility for transit provision in 1974. Edmonton Transit System was contracted to operate 3 buses to Edmonton during peak hours (fare $0.50), carrying around 300 people daily. In 1976 the Town of St. Albert purchased 10 regular transit buses and commenced service to the U of A. Briggs Bus Lines provided local service using 8 yellow school buses, under contract.
On July 2, 1986 St. Albert Transit services began, following the construction of a transit garage in the Campbell Industrial Park. The City of St. Albert now owned and could administer, maintain and shelter its fleet. Grey Goose Bus Lines were contracted to provide drivers for the service. At this time the bus fleet comprised 23 GMC 'New Look' transit buses, painted in the red, blue and white livery.
St. Albert Transit was the first system in Western Canada to own and operate 18-metre long articulated (bendy) buses. St. Albert Transit was also the first system in Canada to operate Low Floor wheelchair-accessible buses on regularly scheduled routes. Yellow school bus service on local routes ended in 1995. St. Albert Transit was contracted by the Town of Morinville to operate the Interlink service.
Significant route changes with the opening of the St. Albert Centre Exchange and extension of transit service to new subdivisions in the north of the city.
2001 saw the Village Transit Station moved to the current location on Gate Avenue and Grange Drive, incorporating a Greyhound Courier office and a Park & Ride facility.
2004 saw the introduction of a new StAT logo and the www.ridestat.ca website. St. Albert Transit (StAT) also celebrated reaching the milestone of 1 million passenger trips in a calendar year. Diversified Transportation was awarded the operating contract for the service.
In 2005 St. Albert Transit achieved ISO 14001 registration, recognizing an ongoing commitment to reduce environmental impacts and to promote the benefits of riding transit. Regular reassessment audits continue to the present day and StAT continues to maintain its ISO 14001 certification.
In 2006 City Council approved the StAT Long Term Department Plan, setting out an evolutionary plan for the future of Transit Services in St. Albert for the next 15 years.
In 2007 Transit service was introduced to Riel Business Park. Route changes were implemented in Downtown Edmonton to improve system reliability. A 3-year pilot U-Pass program commenced for students at U of A and full-time students at MacEwan (U-Pass is valid on StAT, ETS and Strathcona County Transit).
In 2009 construction began on a 5,000 sq ft expansion to the StAT office, allowing for more work space, training rooms and a drivers' lounge. StAT is the first in the region to introduce eNotice, a subscription-based service allowing riders to stay informed of detours and other transit news. Fifteen new buses were purchased, including 6 articulated buses and 9 regular 12-metre buses, bringing the fleet to a total of 55 buses.
In 2010 U-Pass was approved as an ongoing program by City Council and the U of A, MacEwan University and NAIT. StAT's entire fleet became fully accessible with low-floor, ramp-equipped buses. Bike racks were installed on all regular transit buses allowing greater transportation options to riders.
In 2011, StAT is the first transit system in Alberta to introduce real-time bus arrival information to its customers through GPS equipment installed on the vehicles and NextBus web-based programming.
In 2013, regional Handibus service begins into Edmonton. The Handibus fleet is expanded to 5 vehicles from 3.
Council approves StAT Long Term Department Plan which is updated to reflect the new direction that will guide service delivery for the next fifteen years.
U-Pass expands to include Norquest College. All participating schools expand U-Pass enrollment to include part-time and summer students.
In 2014, StAT rebrands to reflect the City of St. Albert's new Botanical Arts City imaging. Bold and unique bus colours begin to roll into service.
StAT enters into a partnership with Edmonton DATS to provide state of the art technology for Handibus booking, scheduling and dispatch services. This allows StAT to significantly grow Handibus services.
In 2015, the number of students participating in the U-Pass program exceeds 60,000.
In 2016, City Council, in cooperation with the Government of Alberta and its Green Trip funding program, is the first transit agency in Canada to officially purchase fully electric transit buses.
Today StAT currently operates 63 buses. The fleet travels a total of 2.2 million kilometres and carries over 1.25 million riders annually. StAT employs 21 permanent staff and Diversified Transportation Ltd provides us with 76 drivers and 7 support staff.
As the City of St. Albert grows, Transit will be growing and maturing with the Community. St. Albert Transit remains committed to providing the level of service that meets the needs of its customers and the citizens of the City.
Last edited: February 14, 2017