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Transit transformation

Today, Lethbridge City Council received information on changes happening within Lethbridge Transit that are showing positive outcomes to ridership and revenues. With the highest ridership numbers in the history of the service and a $1.3 million improvement in financial performance from 2022-2023, the department is building momentum for continued growth and enhancements.  

The changes stem from challenges identified through an internal department review and include: better corporate alignment, change management, enhanced customer service, reduced staff absenteeism and improved financial management.  

Council on Tuesday approved a resolution to direct Administration to reinvest annual surpluses within the Transit and Access-a-Ride approved 2023-2026 Operating Budget back into operations to enhance Transit and Access-a-Ride services in Lethbridge. 

“There has been a significant amount of change in the transit department over the last several years,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “This includes the cityLINK redesign, several changes in leadership and of course the pandemic. After a deliberate and concerted effort to minimize change and focus on continuous improvement, we are happy to see a more stabilized transit system for our riders and our staff.” 

To help improve customer service, dedicated staff are now located in the Downtown Park ‘n’ Ride terminal, making it easier to connect with and support transit riders. There will also be a transit advisory committee established later this year to provide continued feedback and guidance to the Transit department. Additional transit hubs will also be completed in 2024 establishing more amenities for riders along major routes.  

“I am really proud of the work Transit staff have been doing to help create a better experience for our riders,” says Darwin Juell, Transportation General Manager. ”We know there is still work to be done, but these improvements are helping us trend in the right direction.” 

Ridership numbers increased 31 per cent between 2022 and 2023 with a further 35 per cent increase between 2023 and March of 2024. This increase exceeds the past highest ridership numbers from 2019. 

There have also been significant improvements in the transit budget. After three years of deficits of more than $1 million/year, the department saw a surplus of $312,000 in 2023 and is on track to do even better in 2024.   

“We know budgets are extremely tight across all City departments, and the strides Lethbridge Transit have been able to make to reduce their budget are helping to minimize the pressure on Lethbridge taxpayers,” says Mayor Hyggen. “I also want to thank our transit riders for their patience and understanding as we work towards a system that is successful and sustainable.” 

A full description of the improvements being made in Lethbridge Transit is available in our Transit Transformation document.   

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