The County of Grande Prairie Council voted today to discontinue County Connector public transit pilot project. Transit service has been suspended since April due to COVID-19.

The County Connector links Clairmont, Sexsmith, Beaverlodge, Wembley, and Hythe to the City of Grande Prairie. The service is part of a two-year provincial Rural Transportation Pilot Program and is set to expire this year on December 2.

"Our decision to discontinue the service was due to consistently low ridership,” said Reeve Leanne Beaupre. "It also reflects the County’s commitment to being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and government funding.”

Prior to today’s decision, the County had informed partnering municipalities and the provincial government of the possibility of discontinuation of the service. There is no additional cost to municipalities to discontinuing the pilot.

Currently, qualifying residents have access to the City of Grande Prairie’s Accessible Transportation, which is partially funded by the County. The County also provides annual grants to local organizations offering transportation to seniors and persons with special needs.

"We sincerely appreciate the support from the provincial government for this pilot and the collaboration we have had with our neighbours,” said Beaupre. "We will continue to look at options that will meet the needs of the community while being fiscally responsible.”

The County Connector is a collaborative project between partnering municipalities and the provincial government. Alberta Transportation provided operational funding for the pilot program and GreenTrip funding to help cover the cost of purchasing a bus. The County contributed additional funding to purchase one of the two transit buses. The City of Grande Prairie operates the service for the County, while the other partnering municipalities support the service in their communities.

Media contacts:

Leanne Beaupre Reeve