Lying adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s northern borders, St. Albert is a growing community of just under 60,000 residents.

Because of its close proximity to Alberta’s capital city, it should come as no surprise that many of St. Albert’s residents commute to Edmonton to get to work. Because of this, a reliable transit system is needed.

“The St. Albert transit system operates local routes in all neighbourhoods of St. Albert,” transit spokesperson Ian Sankey said.

“It also runs commuter service into key destinations in the City of Edmonton.”

St. Albert’s buses, which are separate from Edmonton’s transit system, take commuters to downtown Edmonton, the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan University, NAIT, West Edmonton Mall, Westmount Mall and Kingsway Shopping Centre, Sankey said.

“Commuter ridership makes up the vast majority of our riders,” he added. “I think we’re looking at somewhere around 85 to 90 per cent of our riders.”

“If you don’t want to walk everywhere, you can definitely take the bus,” St. Albert resident Elyse Dussault said. “It goes nearly everywhere.”

St. Albert is serviced by two main transit stations — one at St. Albert Centre, which is right on St. Albert Trail, and one at Gate Avenue and Grange Drive, which is in the south end of the city.

Bus stops are placed frequently throughout the city’s residential areas.

“Our service standard aims to have bus service within 400 metres walking distance of all residential properties in the city,” Sankey said.

“We’re pretty close to achieving that; there’s only a few areas that fall outside of that (distance).”

So is a car a necessity for residents of St. Albert?

“That’s a subjective one,” Sankey said.

“It depends on where you work and what you need to do in your life.”

“It’s becoming less essential (to own a car),” he added.

“Certainly there is a comprehensive transit service available for folks who choose to or need to use it.”