Beaumont Transit

Beaumont has had a number of different iterations of public transit.

The first, and from a transit enthusiast perspective, the most interesting was the short lived Beaumont Transportation Services. This was a short lived operation that started on September 2, 2002 and only lasted until October of that year. The fleet was 3 ex ETS T6H-5307N's, one 1978 unit 778, and 2 1980 units, 948 and 952. The routes numbers were primitive, being the fleet numbers of the two main buses, 948 and 952. One was intended to be an all day run, and the other an extra during the school year. The route was a loop through Beaumont, and then on to Edmonton via 50 St. The terminus was at ETS's Mill Woods Transit Centre. 952 was painted in a modified ETS paint scheme, basically just new colours on the lower skirt panels where the Edmonton Transit stripes had been with a Beaumont logo on the silversides. #948 was originally operated with no new stripes or decals, but did later receive the decals. I never did see it with the new decals in service, only after the bus was found after the service ended. #778 was never spotted in service. Frankly, I don't recall where we heard about 778 however, 778 and 948 ended up in the front yard of a business near the Coca Cola bottling plant in South Edmonton. We also found 952 with 686 near the Sherwood Park Freeway. Destination signs were handwritten cards displayed in the Edmonton Transit express card holder in the lower door side of the windshield. This was a private operation.

The next project came about relatively shortly after the failed private operation. With Provincial Government funding, a pilot project was started with ETS operating the service as the route 98 between Edmonton and Beaumont for a 6 month period, starting September 2, 2003 and running until March 2004. As I recall, there was a little bit of funding left over, so service continued a bit longer than the 6 month period. The local portion of the route ran a loop similar to the BTS route near as I can remember, and then ran to Downtown. Significantly, this was the first commuter operation that had been contracted to ETS since St. Albert and Strathcona in the 1980's. While this time it didn't succeed, other surrounding communities have engaged ETS to provide commuter transit service, and Beaumont would again be one of them in 2017.

A second private bus operation between Beaumont was in operation in 2012. Little information exists on it and presumably not much ever became of it.

On September 5, 2017 the forth incarnation of transit service began in Beaumont. This operation is quite different from it's predecessors, although there are some similarities. Like the Route 98 operation, this service is contracted to ETS. Also, like the prior service, the Provincial kicked in money via GreenTRIP funding to help with the service. This time around however, Beaumont has purchased the buses, there is no local route, and the service is running to Century Park.

The current Beaumont Transit has been in the works since 2011, over 5 years before the first run. Following the initial studies that did recommend a peak hour service, a tender for a contract operator was issued in 2014, however, it proved fruitless and only brought in 1 bid which didn't meet minimum requirements. It wasn't until 2015, with GreenTRIP funding to purchase their own buses, and then reaching out to other regional transit agencies in 2016 to find an operator for their buses, that the wheels really started to turn towards getting a transit service rolling.

The entire concept of Beaumont Transit is different than anything else we've seen in Edmonton so far. It's essentially intended to be a park and ride option connecting the park and ride lot at the Ken Nicols Recreation Centre with Century Park LRT station. All other regional operations have seen a local component from day one, and indeed, they didn't even always offer a park and ride option at first.

The bus fleet consists of 3 2017 New Flyer XD40's. GreenTRIP funding helped with the purchase of the buses. The buses were initially delivered in full ETS colours and decaling (as spotted on delivery through Calgary). The buses are numbered 6950-6952, which falls within the same 69XX numbering block as the Spruce Grove owned, ETS operated buses. Why were the buses delivered in ETS livery? While we're not 100% sure, what we do know is that branding for Beaumont Transit wasn't chosen until mid-June 2017, and the final design and, and how to apply it, wasn't chosen until late June 2017. The chosen design features a full lower body wrap with ETS blue remaining on top. As a result, the buses with have an ETS look too them, but, yet are set apart from anything else in the fleet. The buses did retain the ETS logo in the lower driver side of the bus.


Additional first day photos, September 5, 2017

Sources:
Timeline - Background and Highlights of Beaumont Commuter Transit November 6, 2016 -
http://www.beaumont.ab.ca/DocumentCenter/View/80 Retrieved September 4, 2017
AM/ FM Beaumont Transit Presentation June 27, 2017 for June 27. 2017 Town of Beaumont Regular Council Meeting
Agenda, Town of Beaumont Regular Council Meeting
All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems- Beaumont
https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/alltime/edmonton-suburbs-ab.html#beaumont retrieved September 3, 2017

Thumbnail Bus # Date Description
Beaumont Transit
6950 September 5, 2017 #6950 arriving at Century Park on the first ever trip into Edmonton.
6950 September 5, 2017 #6950 arriving at Century Park on the first ever trip into Edmonton.
6950 September 5, 2017 #6950 on the 6:28AM trip out of Century Park, waiting to depart.
6950 September 5, 2017 #6950 on the 6:28AM trip out of Century Park, waiting to depart.
6951 September 5, 2017 #6950 departing Century Park on the first day of service for Beaumont Transit.
6951 September 5, 2017 6950 departing Century Park on the first day of service for Beaumont Transit.
Beaumont Transportation Services
0778.jpg (48179 bytes) 778 March 18, 2004 778 is shown retired in south Edmonton after serving as a spare bus for Beaumont Transportation Services during it's brief trial in late 2002.  This bus is Ex-Edmonton Transit 778.
0778r.jpg (54854 bytes) 778 March 18, 2004 The rear of 778.
948 September 2002 BTS #948 at the Mill Woods Transit Centre.
948 September 2002 BTS #948 at the Mill Woods Transit Centre.
948 September 2002 BTS #948 at the Mill Woods Transit Centre.
948 September 2002 BTS #948 departing the Mill Woods Transit Centre. Note the sign in the express card holder.
948 September 2002 BTS #948 departing the Mill Woods Transit Centre.
0948.jpg (58938 bytes) 948 March 18, 2004 948 is shown retired in south Edmonton with 778 after both buses had served for Beaumont Transportation Services during it's brief trial in late 2002.  This bus is Ex-Edmonton Transit #948.
0948-1.jpg (53438 bytes) 948 March 18, 2004 Another view of the front of 948 showing the BTS logos and livery better.
0948r.jpg (48672 bytes) 948 March 18, 2004 The rear of 948.
952 September 2002 BTS #952 at ETS's Millwoods Transit Centre. This bus is ex ETS #952.
  September 2002 BTS #952 at ETS's Mill Woods Transit Centre.
  September 2002 ETS A-Frame announcing the new service, September 2, 2002.
  September 2002 ETS bus stop sign for the first Beaumont service at Mill Woods Transit Centre.
Edmonton Transit System Route 98
       

This page last updated on September 5, 2017

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