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This council, more so than most past ones, does not seem to take its leadership role very seriously (or maybe they actually have no idea what to do) and constantly defers to the administration.

There needs to be more critical discussion and review before hand, so what reaches council is of a better quality. The current council seems unable to do this with its hands off approach.

I am not sure what the point of even having elected officials is, if they continue take this approach.
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It would be nice to see a route like 411 designated as Owl service (Sherwood Park). St. Albert may also be a good Owl route.
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Edmonton is a region.
Yes and no. If we don't have a proper regional transit authority or any sort of formal coordination effort, the CoE Ane ETS should focus on serving Edmonton proper as well as they can, period.
The city's taxpayers cannot take the fall for the money being spent of serving other communities while there's so much to improve within city limits
In reality whether we accept it or not, we are a region and there needs to be some level of coordination between communities for the overall good.

For instance, we are not going to have every bus from another community stop at the city boundary and then have people get off and transfer to a City of Edmonton one.
I sometimes think regional bus service and regional planning need to develop organically. We're probably more of a region with infrastructure like Anthony Henday Drive and our growing LRT.
Ugly day for transit.
The way I read the Transit Priority Measures Report is basically: "We're working on it". There's no concrete actions or locations given.
Bus Network Service Plan Update is rich. The 2023-24 ETS Annual Service Plan includes a blurb on the new route 31 on page 30/31, but, if you read through the report, the 31 is up for service cuts on page 35.

But, my biggest complaint is the Bus Fleet Replacement Plan.

Basically, the 2023-2026 budget includes minimal funding for replacement buses to the tune of $240 million short. I went through the Transit budget extensively. I always have. I often see dire warnings about what happens if this or that doesn't get funded. I saw NOTHING about a shortfall in replacement bus funding, although, I questioned the numbers that were in the related Profile as they didn't seem sufficient.
In the mean time, Council has been wanting to add service here, build a satellite garage there with 20 growth buses, and redeploy 73 funding, and all the while we don't have the funding to replace the buses we are running right now.

I see a significant disconnect between what Council knows and what Administration knows.

Remember, this report about the Bus Fleet Replacement Plan came about because council asked: "That Administration provide a report to Committee outlining a bus fleet replacement plan that identifies efficiencies that can be reinvested into the bus network to address the service gap". Would they have even known about this shortfall if they hadn't asked for this report?

To me, this seems to say that Council thought that perhaps they though if they sped up replacements, they could reduce spare ratios and that would increase the available bus fleet. Instead Administration is telling them we're $240 million short of being able to do what you want. I don't think Council realized the shortfall situation they were in.

For a bit of context too, I've been following the budget and transit since the early 2000's. I remember when the extra funding to kill off the high floor buses came through that allowed for a massive 231 bus order in 2006 with 2007/08 delivery and a follow on order for 121 buses with 2009 delivery. There was a lot of extra government (Federal and Provincial) funding available at the time. After that, Transit seemed to have a plan in place for a reasonable number of replacement buses per year so that they didn't end up in that situation that again. They did well for a few years, and had a plan back in the 2010's for replacements into the 2030's. That plan has fallen off the rails for one reason or another since then. We (my friends and I) have been waiting to see how ETS and the City actually handle the replacement of 231 buses from 2007/08 over 2 years at they reach 18 years old in 2025-2026 and beyond. At this point, the City isn't failing to disappoint. We didn't expect them to be able to manager the large replacement adequality, and it seems they aren't.

The City should not have reallocated the 73 service hours. The artics should have been redeployed and a number of 40' buses retired since funding wasn't in place for replacement. The City should immediately halt service expansion plans, scrap the satellite garage, and focus on fleet replacement, or, they need to figure out how to come up with sufficient funding for replacement buses plus the expansion plans.

Of course, that's not to mention that ETS resurrected retired buses due to the electric bus parts supply issue. Basically, the replacement buses received in 2023 went to propping up the electric bus fleet and allowing ETS to re-retire a few diesel buses for the second time. Maybe. We'll see if they have a second resurrection to support fleet expansion.

I'll be very curious to see where this goes. As I said in another thread, I don't trust Admin. Why hasn't this shortfall been made obvious before this?
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Admin has been making City Council aware of our lack of money in general for several years now. This council refuses to prioritize imo. You can't fund everything. For example, the Downtown to airport bus admin reminded council of the service shortfall we currently have.

And you can't afford to build a hydrogen bus fleet when you can't even replace what you've got or improve bus service to fix the shortfall.
Disagree a little -- if the notion is to make Edmonton a centre for Hydrogen production then it would be a "money where your mouth is" situation to support that industry with Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles -- should be a City priority.
^It's $700m vs $300m of which we don't have money unless it comes from the province that $400m comes from your taxes. It will still take 5-10 years to build and not improve services at all while the city grows at an exponential rate. Better bus services vs being an early adopter.