Edmonton Transit Service

The Edmonton Transit Service (previously known as Edmonton Transit System), also called ETS, is the public transit service owned and operated by the City of Edmonton. It operates Edmonton's bus and light rail systems.


High Level Rail Bridge with lower LRT bridge and train crossing

ETS provides bus and light-rail transit services within the City of Edmonton limits, in addition to Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Beaumont, and the Edmonton Garrison at Namao. It also provides connections to St. Albert Transit (StAT), Fort Sask Transit, and Strathcona County Transit. ETS provides service to the Edmonton International Airport, while Leduc Transit provides bus service to Leduc.

ETS operates an entire fleet of accessible low floor buses,[4] which have been progressively introduced into the system since 1993. These include the 858 40-foot (12 m) New Flyer D40LF/D40LFR/XD40, 33 60-foot (18 m) New Flyer D60LF/D60LFR/XD60 articulated models, and 49 Grande West Vicinity B30A models.

ETS uses the timed-transfer system, where suburban feeder routes run to a transit centre, and passengers can then transfer to a base route/LRT to the city centre or the university. Some feeder routes provide direct express service to and from the city centre.

Smart Bus

A new feature on ETS, Smart buses have since July 2013, seen operating on several routes, the trial routes were 111 which went from West Edmonton Mall to Downtown and 128 which went from Castle Downs to University, This system respectively used 45 buses. As of November 2014, there are 22 routes equipped,.[5][6][7][8][9] Real time bus arrival information on personal computers and mobile data is branded together as ETS LIVE and a mobile app, ETS Live to Go, has been released.[5] The buses equipped possess automatic audio visual stop announcers of the next bus stop described by its nearest intersection, a computer aided dispatch which informs the control centre where a bus is, as well as monitor incidents. Mobile data terminals inform the drivers as to if they are late or not. The buses equipped have internal covert cameras to monitor safety.[10][11] City council has approved funding for Smartbus deployment on all bus routes as of 2019 and 2020.[12] On 4 September 2016, all 928 busses in the ETS fleet had been fully equipped with Smart bus technology, earlier than initially planned.[13]

Late Night Owl Service

ETS bus on night owl route 512 to Downtown.

Night service began on 6 September 2015, on routes 1, 4, 8, and 9 and 512.[14]These buses operate until approximately 3:30 or 4 AM. Morning service then resumes around 5:00 AM. Route 512 acts as a late night replacement for northern sections Capital Line (operating after the LRT shuts down for the night) from Clareview to Downtown.[14]

Other routes end service at varying times.


In May 2007, Edmonton Transit Security were appointed Peace Officers under the Alberta Peace Officer Act. Transit Peace Officers can issue tickets for Provincial Statutes and Edmonton bylaws on Transit property. Transit Peace Officers use Ford Taurus police interceptors as their primary transportation, but are also seen riding the LRT enforcing bylaws. They patrol in uniform on ETS vehicles and property which include buses, LRT and transit stations 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.[15] The Transit Peace Officer Bike Patrol is also active during suitable weather conditions from spring until fall. The Bike Patrol can access certain areas better than a vehicle, such as bike paths along LRT tracks or areas congested by traffic and/or special events.[15] Transit Peace Officers are authorized to enforce municipal bylaws and have powers and authority under several provincial acts.[15]

In November 2018 Edmonton Transit added 24/7, onsite contract security guards to augment and assist the Peace Officers and Edmonton Police. The main focus of the contract security guards are to focus on high visibility patrols and observing and reporting security issues for the Transit Peace Officers or Edmonton police to attend. The contract security guards interact with the public and work closely with Transit Peace Officers and Edmonton police. [16]

List of Transit Centres

Capilano Transit Centre in 2019.

Transit Centres in Edmonton serve as hubs which allow people to transfer bus routes or onto the LRT system. These hubs typically have a heated shelter, and have multiple bus bays to accommodate many buses at a time.

(* means transit Centre at LRT station)


ETS numbers its bus routes based on the community they serve, with numbers 1-23 being base routes.[17] Routes numbered 24-99 are south Edmonton routes, while routes 100-199 run north of the river. For example, routes 60 to 79 are located in Mill Woods, while routes 160-179 are located in Castle Downs. Due to a shortage of numbers in allocation of route numbers, there are a number of exceptions. Furthermore, commuter routes have been allocated numbers in the 500's. All routes are serviced by accessible low floor buses.[18]

The city is currently in the process of introducing a complete bus network redesign, which will completely change how routes are numbered and where they go. This change will be implemented in August 2020.


  • Centennial Garage – bus facility: historic fleet storage; opened 24 April 2010[19]
  • D.L. MacDonald Yard – LRT storage and repair facility; opened 1983
  • Ferrier Garage – bus facility; formerly trolley bus barn
  • Kathleen Andrews Garage – bus facility; opened 9 February 2020[20]
  • Mitchell Garage – bus facility; formerly trolley bus barn; opened 7 April 1981[21]
  • Paterson Garage – bus garage; bus disposal facility
  • Percy Wickman Garage – Disabled Adult Transit Service (DATS) facility


Former systems

Trolley bus system

ETS trolley bus

Trolley bus service in Edmonton started on 24 September 1939, operating on route 5 from 101 St/Jasper Ave to 95 St/111 Ave. By the end of October of that year, service had started on another route running to 99 St/Whyte Ave via the Low Level Bridge. In Edmonton, trolley buses were often referred to simply as "trolleys".

The trolley bus system used a mixture of Ohio Brass and K&M Elastic (Swiss) suspension for holding up the overhead wires.

The 47 vehicles remaining in use in 2008 were from an order of 100 manufactured in 1981-2 by Brown Boveri & Company (BBC), using bodies and chassis supplied to BBC by GM.[citation needed]

On 18 June 2008, city council voted 7 to 6 in favour of phasing out the trolley system between 2009 and 2010.[22] However, city council decided in April 2009 that trolley bus service would be discontinued earlier than originally planned, in order to reduce the city's expected $35 million deficit that year.[23] The last day of regular service was 2 May 2009.[24]

In 2008, the city leased a low-floor model of trolley from Coast Mountain Bus Company, Vancouver's bus operating company, for testing of possible benefits of low-floor trolleys over hybrid diesel buses. During its time in Edmonton the bus was numbered 6000, but was returned to its original #2242 when returned to Vancouver.[25]


Edmonton operated streetcars from 1908 to 1951, some of which are now owned by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society.

Current systems


Map of the Edmonton LRT Network

ETS operates a 20.5 km light rail route with fifteen stations. The Capital Line runs roughly north-south, between Clareview station in northeast Edmonton and the Century Park station on the south side, with a mix of tunnels and at-grade track. Six stations are underground, while the remaining nine are at-grade with surface road crossings.

In 2015, the Metro Line opened, interlining with the Capital Line on some sections and servicing the central and north-central area of the city.[26]

The train shown to the right was made in Germany by Siemens/DÜWAG. The same type of vehicle has operated on several underground lines in Frankfurt am Main since 1968 as type U-2. ETS also has Siemens SD-160s from Siemens. These were delivered to accommodate four new stations which opened in 2009 and 2010.

ETS has the intention to replace its ageing U-2 fleet with a new LRV by 2025.[27]

Hybrid/electric buses

The City of Edmonton embarked on an eight-month evaluation of 13 clean-diesel and hybrid buses (and a new trolley bus) in 2008. Edmonton Transit's first two diesel electric hybrid buses went into service in December 2006.[28] The unique design and colour scheme of the two Orion low floor buses have been chosen to enable them to 'stand out' from the rest of the ETS fleet. The buses were part of an extensive test of hybrid technology that Edmonton Transit and the University of Alberta conducted over a year. Bus reliability, performance, maintenance costs, fuel efficiency, noise generation and environmental impact were monitored and evaluated in all weather and road conditions. As well, customers were surveyed about their travel experience. Ultimately, the Hybrid buses only recorded fuel savings of 10-20% (in contrast to the 35% touted in the internal ads). In addition, the ISE-New Flyer hybrids (6003 and 6004) were out of service so much that they could not be included in the evaluation.

As of fall 2009, only the two Orion hybrids were in service. New Flyer/ISE hybrids 6003 and 6004 have since been converted to diesel buses as of 2011. New Flyer/Allison 6002 was revamped with new features and technology to become the ETS Platinum Bus, also referred to as the "Painted Lady".[29]

In Spring 2014, ETS unveiled a full electric bus for a four-month pilot program through October 2014. The buses are referred to as "ETS Stealth Buses" and are on lease from Build Your Dreams (BYD) Co. Ltd.. The buses do not have a fare box at the moment, but instead are accepting customer surveys about electric buses as fare.[30] Even without fare capacity the buses will be placed on several different routes around the city to give many Edmontonians the ability to experience the new exhaust-less bus. The current electric bus is not winterized, but if the city moves forward with the electric bus program they intend to acquire buses with full winter capabilities.

In 2019, Edmonton received the funding to purchase 50 electric buses from Proterra. These buses will enter service between summer 2019 and 2022, and feature low-emissions and quieter operation. This is the single largest purchase of electric buses in Canadian history.[31]


In December 2014 Edmonton City Council approved SmartFare, which comprises an electronic farecard and intermunicipal fare structure.[12] This new system is set to be active in early 2021.[32]

General Fares

The table below lists fares as of 1 February 2020.[33][34] ETS currently only accepts cash for fare payments made on buses and at LRT stations.

Youth (24 and Under) Adult (25-64) Senior (65+)
Cash $3.50
10 Ticket Pack $19 $27 $19
Monthly Pass $75 $97 $34
Day Pass $10
Annual Pass N/A N/A $374

Children 12 and under ride free with a fare paying adult (otherwise they must have a valid youth fare). Day passes provide unlimited travel for up to five people (maximum 2 adults over 24).[35]

ETS provides several discounts for students and the disadvantaged:

Commuter & Regional Service Fares

Some routes have different fare structures due to the distance they cover or because they enter different municipalities outside of Edmonton.

Spruce Grove

Spruce Grove Transit bus on route 560 to Spruce Grove

Fares effective 1 January 2019 for commuter routes 560, 561, and 562 to Spruce Grove and Acheson:[43]

Routes 560, 561, and 562 Local within Spruce Grove Routes 560, 561, and 562 To/From Edmonton Routes 560, 561, and 562 + ETS Transferability
Ages 5 and Under (with a paid passenger) Free
Cash Fare (Ages 6+) $3 $6.25 N/A
10 Ticket Pack N/A $56 N/A
Monthly Pass (Ages 18+) N/A $135 $197*
Monthly Pass (Ages 6-17 or Student) N/A $100 N/A

ETS transferable pass only available for Spruce Grove Residents. No additional fare for U-Pass holders.

Fort Saskatchewan

Edmonton Transit bus on route 580 to Fort Saskatchewan.

Fares effective 1 January 2020 for commuter route 580 to Fort Saskatchewan:[44]

Route 580 Local within Fort Saskatchewan Route 580 To/From Edmonton Route 580 + ETS Transferability
Ages 12 and Under (with a paid passenger) Free
Cash Fare (Ages 18+) $2.50 $5 N/A
Cash Fare (Ages 13-17, 65+) $1.75 $3.75 N/A
10 Ticket Pack (Ages 18+) $22.50 $45 N/A
10 Ticket Pack (Ages 13-17, 65+) $15.75 $33.75 N/A
Monthly Pass (Ages 18+) $52.50 $92 $189
Monthly Pass (Ages 13-17) $21 $36.50 $111.50
Monthly Pass (Ages 65+) $21 $36.50 $70.50

U-Pass holders pay no additional fare. Low income riders qualify for additional discounts under the "Everyone Rides Program".


Beaumont Transit bus on route 540 to Beaumont

Fares effective 1 October 2017 for route 540 to Beaumont:[45]

Student Adult (13-64) Senior (65+)
Cash $5
10 Ticket Pack $45
Monthly Pass $78 $85 $78

Children under 12 ride free (with an accompanying fare-paying passenger). Beaumont tickets, passes and transfers cannot be used on regular ETS services. The U-Pass is not accepted on route 540, however the option is being considered for the future.[45]

Edmonton International Airport

Fares for route 747 to the Edmonton International Airport, effective 14 May 2018:[46]

  • One way trip: $5 or two adult ETS tickets
  • Monthly pass (with no transferability to regular ETS service): $90

No additional fare for holders of a UPass, Leduc Commuter-Plus pass, or Leduc route 10 to route 747 transfer

One way fare reduced back to $5 on 1 May 2018 (after it rose to $10 on 1 February 2018), when an increase in joint funding from the City of Leduc, Leduc County, and the Edmonton International Airport was agreed upon.[47]

Sherwood Park

Some Strathcona County Transit tickets/passes/transfers are valid on ETS and vice versa. These are the details effective 1 February 2018:[48]

  • Sherwood Park Commuter tickets/passes/transfers are valid for use on ETS
    • These are special tickets/passes/transfers purchased for or obtained from Sherwood Park commuter routes
  • ETS tickets are valid on Sherwood Park commuter services for an additional $2 and on sherwood park local services for an additional $1
    • Tickets for use solely on route 747 are not valid on SCT
  • ETS monthly passes (excluding the seniors pass and courtesy pass) and day passes are valid on all Sherwood Park services for an additional $1
    • Passes for use solely on route 747 are not valid on SCT

St. Albert

Some ETS tickets/passes/transfers are valid on StAT and vice versa:[49]

  • ETS monthly passes (excluding the seniors pass and courtesy pass) are valid on all St. Albert services for an additional $1
  • ETS tickets and transfers are valid on commuter St. Albert services for an additional $2
    • Only valid on commuter routes between Edmonton & St. Albert
  • StAT commuter tickets/passes/transfers are valid on ETS (local versions are not valid)[50]


Bus Network Redesign

The City of Edmonton began the process of completely redesigning its bus route network in 2017, with the aim of making it run more efficiently. Since then, two rounds of public consultations have been held at various locations around the city, and online surveys have taken feedback from riders. The public engagements have identified that transit riders would rather have to walk further to get to higher frequency routes, opposed to more routes operating less frequently. The city released a final draft of the new bus system in 2018, which cut back on routes with low ridership, and increased frequency in high traffic areas. After the redesign, all routes will be renumbered to make the system easier to navigate. New signage and materials will be created to assist in wayfinding. The redesign is scheduled to be rolled out in mid-2020. No change to fares has been announced, but the Manager of ETS has stated that ETS could switch to a distance-based system, where fees are based on how far a rider travels.[51]

Transit centres

The preliminary engineering of a park-and-ride at 127 Street SW and Ellerslie Road SW is complete. A station will be located there when the funds are available to extend the LRT over Anthony Henday Drive.[52] City staff have recommended that the Heritage Valley Transit Centre and park-and-ride be built starting in January 2018, at an approximate cost of $20 million because the park-and-ride lease at Century Park is due to expire.[2] The Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage is a future transport depot currently under construction on Fort Road, named after ETS manager Kathleen Andrews, and covering 300 buses and 700 drivers. It is expected to open in late 2019.[53]


Construction on phase one of the Metro Line extension, which includes a permanent NAIT station and station for the Blatchford community on the old City Centre Airport property, will start in mid-2020.[54] NAIT station current is located north of Princess Elizabeth Avenue, on the south side of the Institute's swimming pool and hockey arena (S) wing.

Valley Line

The Valley Line will run for 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Mill Woods through downtown Edmonton to Lewis Farms, with 25 stops. The 11-station segment from Mill Woods to 102 Street in downtown, known as "Valley Line Southeast", will be constructed first, beginning in 2016 and finishing by 2021.[55] Construction for phase two of the project, dubbed "Valley Line West", is expected to start in 2021.[56] Preperation work for the second phase, including property surveys, utility relocation, and land acquisition, is already underway.[57] Unlike the existing LRT, the Valley Line will run primarily at grade in the centre median of city streets, connecting to the Capital and Metro lines at Churchill station.[58] The line will cost $1.8 billion, with $800 million coming from the City of Edmonton, $600 million from Alberta, and $400 million from the federal government. A public–private partnership was established between the City of Edmonton and a private contractor to build and operate the east portion of the line.[59]

Long range LRT plans

City council in the past has looked at creating long range transportation plans that include the LRT reaching St. Albert to the northwest, Lewis Estates in the west (with West Edmonton Mall en route), the Edmonton International Airport and Leduc to the south, Mill Woods in the southeast, and Fort Saskatchewan to the northeast.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "ETS Statistics". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "2015 - 2018 Capital Budget" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Bus and LRT Boardings 2002-2011" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 3 February 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Accessible Vehicles". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Five more Edmonton transit bus routes to get real time technology". Metro Edmonton. 29 October 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Four more Edmonton bus routes to get real time technology". Metro Edmonton. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Four more Edmonton bus routes to launch Smart Bus technology". Metro Edmonton. 26 June 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Two More Routes Get Smart Bus Technology". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Smart Bus Initiative". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Smart Bus Initiative Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Final five Smartbus technology to be installed on Edmonton buses as city awaits province funding". Metro Edmonton. 23 December 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  12. ^ a b Dubois, Stephanie (1 December 2014). "Edmonton council approves Smartbus funding, set to rollout in 2019". Metro Edmonton. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Smart Bus Project". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  14. ^ a b Mertz, Emily. "5 bus routes will now run until 3 a.m.: Edmonton Transit". Global News. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Transit Peace Officers". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  16. ^ https://globalnews.ca/news/4646678/edmonton-transit-security-safety-lrt-guards/
  17. ^ Bouw, Brenda (14 June 1997). "Free rides to launch new service; Transit headed `where people want to go,' mayor says; HORIZON 2000; TRANSIT'S NEW HORIZON:". Edmonton Journal. p. B.3.
  18. ^ "Low Floor Buses". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  19. ^ Gold, Marta (11 April 2010). "ETS opens state-of-the-art garage; New $99-million bus barn is size of five football fields, first new facility in 25 years". Edmonton Journal. p. A.5.
  20. ^ a b Antoneshyn, Alex (9 February 2020). "Westwood ETS garage officially closed, Kathleen Andrews facility operational". CTV News. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  21. ^ Edmonton Transit Service 100. City of Edmonton. 2008.
  22. ^ "Trolleys reach end of the line". Edmonton Journal. 19 June 2008. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  23. ^ Landry, Frank (19 April 2009). "Mayor targets city honchos". Edmonton Sun. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  24. ^ "ETS Trolley Buses". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  25. ^ "Edmonton Tests new Low Floor Trolley Bus" (PDF). Transit Talk. Edmonton Trolley Coalition. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  26. ^ Lazzarino, Dave (21 January 2015). "Edmonton's Metro Line now set to open in spring". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Edmonton Transit Service Annual Service Plan 2018-2019" (PDF). City of Edmonton.
  28. ^ "Accessibility". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Special Feature - ETS Platinum Bus 6002". ETS Photo Express. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Edmonton transit gets two electric buses". Edmonton Sun. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  31. ^ Edmonton, City of (16 June 2019). "Electric Buses". www.edmonton.ca. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  32. ^ Dubois, Stephanie (27 January 2020). "Smart fare rollout for Edmonton transit delayed until 2021". CBC. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Fares". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  34. ^ Cook, Dustin (8 January 2020). "Some Edmonton transit passes for seniors double in cost in February". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  35. ^ "Family/Day Pass". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  36. ^ Theobald, Claire (9 January 2018). "Edmonton Transit to increase price of tickets, passes in February". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Ride Transit Program". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  38. ^ "Post Secondary Pass". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  39. ^ "Non-Instructional Fees and Faculty Student Funds 2017-2018". University of Alberta. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  40. ^ "U-Pass". NAIT Students' Association. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  41. ^ "U-Pass FAQ" (PDF). Grant MacEwan University. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  42. ^ "U-Pass". NorQuest College. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  43. ^ "Route 560 Schedule and Map" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  44. ^ "Route 580 Schedule and Map" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  45. ^ a b "Tickets & fares". Town of Beaumont. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  46. ^ "Edmonton International Airport Service". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  47. ^ Stolte, Elise (27 February 2018). "Edmonton airport bus fare drops back to $5 as part of regional deal". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  48. ^ "Tickets, Passes & Fares". Strathcona County. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  49. ^ "ETS & Strathcona Transit Passes". City of St. Albert. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  50. ^ "Regional Service". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  51. ^ Riebe, Natasha (7 November 2019). "Edmonton to roll out revamped bus network by next summer". CBC News. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  52. ^ "South LRT Extension" (PDF). City of Edmonton. July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  53. ^ "Northeast bus garage could spur Fort Road redevelopment". Edmonton Journal. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  54. ^ February 10; 2020 (10 February 2020). "LRT is coming to Blatchford!". Blatchford | City of Edmonton. Retrieved 16 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  55. ^ "'As soon as possible in 2021': Valley Line Southeast LRT construction falls slightly further off-track, city says in latest update". edmontonjournal.com. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  56. ^ "Three consortia in running for Edmonton light rail project". International Railway Journal. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  57. ^ Edmonton, City of (9 January 2020). "Keeping track: Progress on Valley Line West LRT". Transforming Edmonton. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  58. ^ "Valley Line – Stage 1: Mill Woods Town Centre to 102 Street" (PDF). Transforming Edmonton. City of Edmonton. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  59. ^ Kornik, Slav (6 November 2014). "Edmonton groups demand more info on LRT expansion". Global News. Retrieved 31 August 2017.

External links