CALGARY, AB – Colleen Shepherd, Executive Director, Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) and Jonathan Weal, Regional Director, SOUTHLAND Transportation Ltd. are pleased to announce SOUTHLAND has agreed to take over ownership and management of the On-It Regional Transit system from CRP effective February 28, 2018.
“I am absolutely thrilled On-It will become a legacy of the collaborative, innovative and entrepreneurial culture CRP has fostered over the past 14 years. While there have been many accomplishments at CRP, On-It is our biggest,” explains Colleen Shepherd. She adds, “Regional transit is critical to the economic development of the Calgary Region. This was demonstrated by Amazon requesting all applicants provide regional transit system information as part of the HQ2 bid. SOUTHLAND was the logical successor to CRP given they operate the current On-It buses and are Western Canada’s leading transportation provider.”
The On-It change in ownership and management was prompted by the Alberta government’s creation of the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB). This resulted in the voluntary winding down of CRP effective February 28, 2018. Given the CMRB’s mandate does not include regional transit, it was incumbent upon CRP to find a new owner and manager for On-It to continue its legacy.
Jonathan Weal stated, “We have enjoyed working with Colleen Shepherd and her team since we won the bid for the On-It pilot in 2016. We soon realized that both SOUTHLAND and the CRP shared an appreciation for the important role regional transit will play in the future development of the Calgary Region and the opportunities that exist. When Colleen presented us with the prospect of continuing On-It Regional Transit it was clear that the synergy between On-It and our existing commuter service would allow us to expand our role as the transportation leader in the Calgary Region. We have embraced the On-It vision since day one and look forward to enhancing our service offerings in the many communities in which we operate.”
The CRP negotiated the transfer of On-It’s existing brand and collateral materials to SOUTHLAND Transportation Ltd. SOUTHLAND hopes to work with Parks Canada and the towns of Banff and Canmore to continue the popular Calgary to Banff On-It service. In addition to this, SOUTHLAND will work closely with the municipalities of Chestermere and Strathmore to bring regional transit to these communities. SOUTHLAND plans to re-brand its existing Okotoks and Cochrane commuter buses as On-It Regional Transit. This change will involve a merger of the existing On-It Regional Transit commuter services with the SOUTHLAND Transportation commuter service. The goal is to minimize the impact on current On-It riders during this transition.
The Calgary Regional Partnership was a voluntary, collaborative network of 11 municipalities in the Calgary Region who have worked together since 2004 to ensure growth occurs in a sustainable manner. Collectively the partnership represented more than 1.5 million people.