Starting Tuesday, July 2, residents living in the south-east area of Saskatoon will have access to new direct transit routes that will have them from their bus stop to downtown in under 30 minutes.

The new “Downtown Direct” routes will travel non-stop from the Lakeview, Lakeridge and Lakewood neighbourhoods to downtown via the best route for optimum travel time. Two routes will run on a schedule to accommodate typical work start and end times.

Passengers travelling downtown from these neighbourhoods currently use either Route 50 or 60, both of which have an average travel time of about 50 minutes to reach downtown. These routes will continue to operate as normal, stopping to pick up/drop off passengers along the way.

The new routes are part of the Transit South-East Pilot Project which will also include two new “University Direct” routes originating from the same three neighbourhoods and beginning in September. This area of the city was chosen for the pilot project as residents in these neighbourhoods currently experience the longest commute travel times on transit. 

The new routes support the City’s Integrated Growth Plan that outlines a new way of growing for Saskatoon, including a new and improved transit system that will allow for the movement of more people, in a more convenient and accessible way, and compliments the future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system being planned for Saskatoon. 

Saskatoon Transit will review the new routes after one year, and if successful, the enhanced service will continue and be applied in other areas where direct routes would be appropriate.  
For more information, visit saskatoon.ca and click on “T” for transit.



Saskatoon residents can now find out about interruptions to City services such as power outages and leisure facility closures quickly and easily.  A new online tool called Service Alerts, accessed by clicking on an icon located on the homepage of the City’s website (www.saskatoon.ca), is now available. 

 “Until now, we’ve relied heavily on Public Service Announcements and the media to let residents know when an unplanned interruption occurs,” says Strategic and Business Planning Manager Catherine Gryba.  “The new Service Alerts online tool is another way for us to proactively communicate with citizens when unplanned service interruptions occur.”

 “The City will still issue PSAs to the media when it’s warranted, but the true benefit here is that individual departments responsible for services can create and post them immediately after there has been an unexpected interruption in a service,” Gryba says.
“The alerts take only minutes to write and post, and posting can be completed from any location including from iPhones, iPads, and other mobile or home devices.  All of this will help us spread the word about an unplanned service interruption, or a reminder about a planned service interruption, as quickly as possible,” Gryba says.

 Should an interruption occur that affects a large number of residents, the City will continue to use other communication tools, such as news releases, public service announcements, social media, and updates on the City’s website.  In the event of an emergency, the City’s Emergency Measures Operations will continue to be activated.

 Service Alerts will first be issued for:

 ·         unplanned power outages;

·         interruptions to City leisure facilities which may affect residents;

·         changes to the residential street sweeping schedule; and

·         traffic detours.

The City is also looking at expanding Service Alerts in the future to include other areas such as garbage collection and transit services.

In addition, to accessing Service Alerts from the City’s website, residents can subscribe to receive alerts on topics they wish to follow in their web browser or RSS reader application, and they can share the alerts via Twitter.

“Given the City’s large social media network and the high engagement level of residents, it made sense to provide the option for users to share the alerts with their networks using social media, and it helps us broaden the reach of our message,” Gryba says.  “The next step for the City is to identify the best method to automatically share the alerts on the City’s Facebook Page and Twitter.  It is all about finding as many ways as possible to inform our citizens and provide the best customer service possible.”

For more information on Service Alerts, including FAQs and subscribing to an RSS Feed, Visit http://www.saskatoon.ca/FORUM/Pages/alerts.aspx

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