Parks Canada Announces $3 Million for Regional Transit in Banff National Park

News release

Expanding regional transit supports commitments identified in the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!


May 18, 2018                                      Banff, Alberta                           Parks Canada Agency

In managing national parks, Parks Canada’s first priority is to maintain or restore ecological integrity. At the same time, it is important to continue to develop new and innovative programs and services at national parks to provide Canadians with opportunities to experience the outdoors and learn about the environment.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced a Parks Canada contribution of $3 million over three years to the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission to expand regional transit service in the Bow Valley between the communities of Banff and Lake Louise.

The announcement coincides with the opening of the 2018 Parks Canada visitor season, which this year, offers free admission to all Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, and free admission for one-year for new Canadian citizens.

This funding to improve transit within the Bow Valley delivers on priorities identified in the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!, to explore ongoing improvements to transportation plans for Parks Canada’s places, including limiting traffic, adding shuttle services, or providing alternate transit and travel options.

Parks Canada’s funding, in combination with nearly $3.4 million in funding from the Government of Alberta’s Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) and $1.1 million from Improvement District #9, will provide Canadians convenient and environmentally friendly transit options in Canada’s most iconic national park.

Through this three-year agreement, the Transit Commission’s distinctive Roam buses will provide service starting in 2019 from the Town of Banff to Lake Louise during the most popular summer months. In 2018, Parks Canada will continue to operate a Banff to Lake Louise shuttle service.

Increasing public transit means reducing the number of vehicles on the road, reducing congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving overall visitor experiences. Transit is good for the environment and this is one more step that Parks Canada is taking to protect and restore this special place, now and for future generations.

To make the most of their Parks Canada experience, visitors are encouraged to plan their trip. They may do so by visiting the Parks Canada’s website, downloading the free Parks Canada’s mobile application, and following us on social media for information about Parks Canada’s destinations.

Quotes

“This investment in public transit in Banff is a demonstration of the practical steps we are taking in support the priorities put forward in my response to the Minister’s Round Table. I have re-affirmed that ecological integrity will the first priority in decisions made about the future of our national parks. Public transit in Banff National Parks helps protect the environment, while ensuring Canadians continue have access to the natural spaces that are fundamental to our heritage.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“This project is another example of how the Government of Alberta is supporting municipalities in providing Albertans with safe, affordable, and environmentally sustainable public transportation options. As a world-class tourism destination, it’s important that Banff and Lake Louise have an efficient and accessible public transit system to help residents and visitors get around and connect to other communities.”

The Honourable Brian Mason,
Alberta Minister of Transportation

"Improvement District No. 9 Council is thrilled to work with Parks Canada, the Province of Alberta, and the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission to bring the beautiful Roam buses to Lake Louise. Council would like to congratulate the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission for introducing this service and allowing all residents and visitors to explore the National Park without their vehicles."

Dave Schebek,
Chair, Improvement District 9

“Roam Transit is pleased to be working with Parks Canada and Improvement District 9 on this service, taking another step towards our mission to connect the entire Bow Valley via a transit network. Visitors and residents from Lake Louise to Banff to Canmore will be able to easily access the most popular places in Banff National Park without the use of a private vehicle. Service right to where you want to be will help us all connect to these incredible natural places.”

Davina Bernard,
Chair, Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission

Quick facts

  • The Minister’s Round Table was the largest ever consultation on Parks Canada, welcoming the views of all Canadians, along with key stakeholders. Over 8,000 Canadians shared their perspectives at public events, face-to-face workshops, in written submissions and online. 5,000 more contributed on social media.

  • Roam Transit currently carries over 750,000 passengers on an annual basis between Banff local, Canmore/Banff Regional, and Canmore local transit services.

  • Parks Canada shuttles carried over 46,000 passengers between Banff and Lake Louise in 2017. The Banff to Lake Louise shuttle will continue in 2018 from May 18th to October 8th, 2018. Departing from the Banff train station fares to travel to Lake Louise for passengers over the age of 18 will be $10.00. Passengers 17 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased from Parks Canada’s staff at the Banff train station.

  • In 2018 and beyond, the Government of Canada is celebrating families and the importance of our protected places with free admission to all Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, and free admission for one-year for new Canadian citizens.

Associated links

Contacts

Lesley Matheson
Public Relations and Communications
Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency
403-431-2325
Lesley.matheson@pc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca


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