Summerside considering transit overhaul

July 5, 2023
Summerside considering transit overhaul

A plan to overhaul Summerside’s transit system with an all-electric fleet was pitched to city councillors Tuesday.

If implemented, the system would be based on a hybrid service model offering both fixed-route and on-demand service. There would be a single route connecting downtown to Slemon Park via Granville Street. Residents in on-demand areas would use an app to pre-book their trip. At launch, service would be available on weekdays between 8AM to 6PM at an average cost of $2 per ride.

A report on transit was completed in 2021 and then updated in April 2023. The report found that it would be feasible for Summerside to operate a more robust transit system with the potential to boost ridership from 3,500 rides per-year to 45,000.

The plan calls for four 30-foot low-floor electric buses. Two buses would operate while one bus would be on the charger and another would be fully charged on stand-by. The city would own the fleet and manage everything from route planning to system branding. A private operator would serve the route and perform maintenance and cleaning. 

💵 Upfront Expenses

🚍 Electric Busses (4): $1.6M
🔋 EV Charging Station: $50,000
☔ Stop Shelters (2): $15,000
👷 Stop Accessibility Work (5): $25,000
🚏 Stop Signage (80): $20,000
💰 Total Capital Cost: $1,710,000

The annual cost to operate Summerside’s transit system would increase from $23,000 a year to $500,000, although $100,000 of that would be covered by fares. Staff are still researching options for available subsidies from other levels of government. The plan now moves to the city’s finance committee for further consideration and could be before council for a decision by this fall.

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