Saskatoon

Saskatoon's 5-year transit plan aims at better customer service

Saskatoon's transit system will get a major overhaul in the next five years, if a plan presented at city hall is followed through.

Unveiled Monday at city hall

More changes are in store for Saskatoon's transit system, under a 5-year plan adopted by city council's transportation committee. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Saskatoon's transit system will get a major overhaul in the next five years, if a plan presented at city hall Monday is followed through.

Transit wants to set up a computerized control centre, allowing instant identification of a bus on the road when there are issues. The centre will also monitor the movement of buses along routes, and direct changes due to congestion or road closures.

Transit will also set up a new section headed by a Chief Customer Service Officer. An engineer/urban planner will ensure that new areas of the city are transit-friendly.

In 2017, the main garage will move from its current location close to downtown to the outskirts of the city.

Fully accessible by 2018

The plan also aims to make all buses fully accessible to people with difficulty getting around by 2018.

And, there will be more work on training and developing transit operators.

The aim of the plan is to make transit more reliable, effective and accessible -- especially for people who can no longer drive but don't meet the criteria for Access Transit.

City council's transportation committee adopted the plan at its meeting today.

However, while more workers will be needed, the exact number and cost won't be known until the middle of next year.

Transit will also be looking for money to replace the rest of its high-floor buses, starting next year.

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