Cochrane Council gave Administration the green light to move ahead with a local on-demand transit system. Council directed Administration to negotiate and enter into a contract for a local on-demand transit system with Southland Transportation.The Town released a formal request for proposals to operate a five-year transit pilot based on the recommendations of the Town’s Transit Task Force. Administration presented the top-rated proposal, which was submitted by Southland Transportation.Mayor Jeff Genung is impressed with the proposed service. “Providing a local on-demand transit service demonstrates Council’s commitment to improve community connectivity,” he said. “The proposed service increases our community’s accessibility and is an important step in alleviating traffic congestion.”The Southland proposal offers a complete on-demand transit service that includes general transit operations, dispatch and scheduling, maintenance and technology management.The Town is responsible for purchasing buses, allocating the land for a transit hub and building bus stops, using $6 million in provincial GreenTRIP funding.The base service hours are Monday to Friday from 6am to 8pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. The local on-demand service will create routes based on requested starting points and destinations. Transit riders can book multiple trips days in advance, or book last minute through an app, website or by phone. The planned launch date is September 1, 2019.In addition to local service, the proposal offers integrated regional service to the Crowfoot LRT station, daily service during the school year to the University of Calgary and SAIT and a summer link to the Banff On-It service.The annual net operating cost for the proposed service is $551,812 or $3.82 per month, per household. That cost is included in the 2019-21 Town budget and falls within the proposed 2.98% property tax increase. Council receives the final revised budget for approval at their December 10 meeting.Transit studies, public engagement results and transit task force reports are all on LetsTalkCochrane.ca/Transit. Cochrane’s draft budget is on cochrane.ca/Budget.