Edmonton Transit System

The Edmonton Transit System, also called ETS, is the public transit service owned and operated by the city of Edmonton, Alberta. It operates Edmonton's bus and light rail systems.


ETS provides service on buses and light-rail transit within the City of Edmonton limits, in addition to Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove (currently on a trial basis), and the Edmonton Garrison at Namao. It also provides connections to suburban transit services operated by the City of St. Albert and County of Strathcona. Another trial service to Beaumont in 2003-2004 was discontinued due to low ridership.

The vast majority of buses in the ETS fleet are accessible low floor buses, which have been progressively introduced into the system since 1993. These include the 40-foot New Flyer D40LF, and the 60-foot D60LF articulated 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 to the city centre or the university. During peak hours, some feeder routes provide direct express service to and from the city centre.

Night Service

As of 2008, ETS currently terminates service on all bus routes and the LRT by approximately 1:30am on weekdays and midnight on weekends (though many routes cease running significantly earlier than this). In January 2008 the Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton, led by Brendan Van Alstine, Lorenzo Pagnotta and Brian Gould managed the draw significant public and media attention to the dire need for extended late night transit service, ideally having transit operate 24 hours a day. The push was so successful that Transportation Manager Bob Boutilier conceded during the debate that it was not an issue of 'if' the city would provide 24 hour transit, but an issue of 'when'. The 24 hour service debate arose once again in June 2008 as part of an ETS service review where it was deferred to budget. It is expected that the City could begin providing 24 hour transit as early as 2009.

List of Transit Centres

  • Abbottsfield
  • Belvedere
  • Capilano
  • Castle Downs
  • Clareview
  • Coliseum
  • Heritage
  • Jasper Place
  • Kingsway
  • Lakewood
  • Meadowlark
  • Millgate
  • Mill Woods Town Centre
  • Northgate
  • South Campus (Coming in 2008)
  • Southgate
  • Stadium
  • University
  • West Edmonton Mall
  • Westmount


ETS numbers its bus routes based on the community they serve, with numbers 1-29 being base routes. For example, routes 60-79 serve Mill Woods, while routes 160-179 serve Castle Downs. There are some exceptions to this, such as routes 39, 59, 96, and 138, due to a shortage of numbers in the area they operate in. Outside of rush hours, all routes, with the exception of the trolley routes, are serviced by accessible low floor buses.


Trolley Bus

Edmonton Transit operates 49 zero emission electric trolley buses manufactured in 1981-2 by Brown Boveri and GMC on routes 3, 5, 7, 9, 120, 133, and 135. Routes 3, 5 and 7 are heavily-travelled mainline routes:

  • Route 3 runs from Jasper Place transit centre to the Cromdale neighbourhood through the North West Industrial area along 118 Ave to 124 St, then along 107 Ave through downtown and up 97 St.
  • Route 5 connects Westmount Centre with Coliseum LRT Station along the main commercial streets of 124 St, Jasper Ave, 95 St and 118 Ave.
  • Route 7 begins at Jasper Place, serves residential and commercial areas along 107 Ave, then continues to the communities of McKernan and Belgravia. Since April 2006, route 7 trolley bus service is suspended to allow for construction to occur on the Belgravia/McKernan LRT Station.
  • Route 9 trolley service from NAIT to downtown supplements the diesel service on that route from Southgate to Northgate.
  • Route 120 running from Jasper Place to Stadium along 102 Ave and Jasper Ave provides extra weekday and Saturday service along parts of routes 1 and 2.
  • Route 133 provides extra service during peak hours along route 7 from Jasper Place to Old Strathcona (Whyte Ave), and then continues into the Parkallen neighbourhood.
  • Route 135 provides supplementary peak and midday service on route 5 between downtown and Westmount.

A new low floor model of trolley bus has been borrowed from Vancouver and will be tested in 2007 and 2008.

Trolley System

Trolley bus service in Edmonton started on September 24, 1939 when trolley bus service began running from 101 St/Jasper Ave to 95 St/111 Ave, beginning the service of route 5. By the end of October, trolley service had started on another route running to 99 St/Whyte Ave via the Low Level Bridge.

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

On June 18, 2008, city council voted 7-6 in favour on phasing out the trolley system in 2009 and 2010.


ETS operates a 12.9 km light rail route with eleven stations, also known as LRT Route 201, between northeast Edmonton and the University of Alberta with a mix of tunnels and at-grade track. 7.6 km of the line is at-grade. Currently, six stations are underground, while the remaining five are at-grade. The train shown to the right is made in Germany by Siemens/DÜWAG. The same type of vehicle have operated on several underground lines in Frankfurt am Main since 1968 as type U-2. ETS has 37 Siemens SD-160 on order from Siemens. The delivery date is 2008-2009 and the new cars are to be used as part of the expansion of the LRT to south Edmonton. In 2009, a few new stations on the southside will open.

Hybrid Bus

The City of Edmonton has embarked on an eight-month evaluation of 13 clean-diesel and hybrid buses, and a new trolley. Edmonton Transit’s first two diesel electric hybrid buses went into service in December 2006. 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 are part of an extensive test of hybrid technology that Edmonton Transit and the University of Alberta will be conducting over the next year. Bus reliability, performance, maintenance costs, fuel efficiency, noise generation and environmental impact will be monitored and evaluated in all weather and road conditions. As well, customers will be surveyed about their travel experience. Ultimatley, the Hybrid buses only recorded fuel savings of 10-20% (in contrast to the 35% touted in the internal ads)citation needed. 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.


Current fares, effective February 1, 2008:


  • Cash


  • 10 Ticket Pack


  • Monthly Pass


  • Day Pass

$7.50 valid for one adult and up to four children aged 12 and under


  • Cash


  • 10 Ticket Pack


  • Monthly Pass


  • Annual Pass


  • Low Income Annual Pass



  • Cash


  • 10 Ticket Pack



  • Monthly Pass

prices are set by the respective educational institution

Post-Secondary Student

  • Monthly Pass


ETS has partnered with the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College to provide students with a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass), allowing unlimited access to both the bus and light rail systems. The U-Pass came into effect 1 September 2007.

*University of Alberta U-Pass
$75.00 due to a $15.00 subsidy from the university
*Grant MacEwan College U-Pass


The list is of current and past vehicles:

Trolley Buses

  • Associated Equipment Co/English Electric Co 663T Trolley Bus (Units 101-103:1939-1951)
  • Leyland 663T Trolley Bus (Units 104-109:1939-1951)
  • Mack Truck Co. CR Trolley Bus (Units 110-112:1942-1962)
  • Pullman Standard Trolley Bus (Units 113-128:1944-1965)
  • American Car and Foundry Brill TC44 Trolley Bus (Units 129&130:1945-1965)
  • Canada Car and Foundry Brill T44 Trolley Bus (Units 121-191,203-212:1947-1978, Units 203-212 were purchased second hand from Vancouver in 1962, and units 121-130 were purchased second hand from Regina in 1966)
  • Canada Car and Foundry Brill T48A Trolley Bus (Units 192-202:1952-1978)
  • Flyer Industries E800 Trolley Bus (Units 213-249:1974-1987, all sold to Mexico City)
  • Brown Boveri Co. HR150G Trolley Bus (Units 100-199:1981-present. Units 109 and 110 were sold to Dayton, Ohio in 1994. Units 103, 105, 106, 107, 116, 117, 118, 134, 141, 142, 153, 154, 169, 171, 176, 187, 191 and 196 were scrapped in 2005-2007. Units 111, 121, 124, 128, 129, 131, 133, 135, 138, 140, 148, 152, 155, 179, 183, 193, 195 and 198 have been refurbished. Current active units are 102, 111, 121, 124, 125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 135, 138, 140, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 152, 155, 156, 160, 161, 163, 168, 170, 172, 177, 179, 180, 181, 183, 189, 192, 193, 195 and 198) - 40 leased to the Toronto Transit Commission

Diesel Buses

denotes wheelchair accessibility

Future plans

Southern extension

A new 10 km Southern extension is in the building stage. The South LRT will extend from the recently opened Health Sciences Station to Century Park, a transit-oriented development on the site of the former Heritage Mall that will eventually include housing for thousands of residents.

Other stations include McKernan-Belgravia, South Campus, and Southgate, which could open as early as 2009. The ultimate extension will cost about $600 million. The segment from Health Sciences Station to Century Park will be at-grade with underpasses beneath major roads.

Other plans

A route from downtown's Churchill Square through the under construction EPCOR Tower on 101 Street and 105 Ave. and continuing west on 105 Ave. until 105th Street and going north until 108 Avenue and then going to 104 Street to Kingsway Avenue then up 106 Street to Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, meanwhile passing Kingsway Garden Mall is expected to break ground sometime this fall. Also there are plans to bring the LRT to Lewis Estates and West Edmonton Mall, but there are three different plans. One is going through Oliver and then to 149 St. The other is going from Health Sciences LRT to West Edmonton Mall. The final is the LRT running along Whitemud Drive to West Edmonton.

See also


External links

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