Riders hoping to see a transit bus service between Edmonton and the international airport will have to wait a little longer.

City council voted 7-6 against an 18-month test service yesterday that could have seen buses running from the Century Park LRT station to the airport every 30 minutes between 5:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

Transit users would have paid $5 for a ride each way, but they wouldn’t be allowed to use regular bus tickets, passes or transfers.

“We will have tremendous opposition from the sources at the airport,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said during yesterday’s council meeting.

“Those services (will be) vehemently complaining to the airport that we are cutting them out from their business, both from the taxis and shuttle service.”

Some councillors raised concerns about the costs of the 18-month test since the Edmonton Regional Airport Authority hasn’t committed to funding it. The route would have needed a subsidy of $982,000 since there was a chance for significantly low ridership levels.

“It’s a million-dollar experiment, but it could be a $3-million experiment,” said Coun. Karen Leibovici.

“This is not about servicing users of the airport, this is about getting transit riders to Century Park to use the service,” said Coun. Don Iveson. “Cities do this. Are we one?”

At one point during the debate, Coun. Ben Henderson waved his finger at councillors reminding them there’s a need for an airport-bound service.

Henderson reminded councillors that he paid $40 to leave his car at the airport for a week. He also says it’s currently the cheapest way to get to the airport.