Iqaluit’s new Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is anticipated to be completed by late 2020.
The goal is to improve the existing and future transportation operations in the city through better transportation network connectivity and road safety.
Mark Brodrick, the director of planning and development, is overseeing the plan on behalf of the city.
“TMP is in the very early stages and if all goes well (it) should be completed by the end of 2020,” stated Brodrick.
A month ago, the plan was given to the engineering firm Stantec for consultation purposes.
With the TMP, Iqaluit’s department of planning and development aims to tackle various “key” transit concerns. The department hopes to identify a potential transit network system or route that takes into account feasibility, accessibility and necessary infrastructure.
More specifically, it aims to evaluate the implementation of at least two transit system options and/or improve the present shared taxi system.
The plan also reviews viable transit models by considering alternative transit service solutions. This potentially includes a number of small buses with a centralized transfer point, transit services only during rush hour, or a door-to-door taxi service plus taxis on a designated route for less fare.
Mayor Kenneth Bell is looking forward to reviewing the potential transportation options and recommendations for Iqaluit.
The goal is to see some sort of public transportation in Iqaluit, said Bell.
“There’s way too many vehicles already here. And as we grow, it’s just going to get worse and worse,” explained Bell.
Bell expressed his interest in having a public bus system.
Coun. Kyle Sheppard agreed some form of public transportation is needed.
“We need to make investment in transportation in the city for sure,” Sheppard said.
“Some form of public transportation needs to be undertaken to alleviate congestion and provide alternatives to people in town.”
City staff stated the final TMP will identify the future steps that are needed to implement the transportation plan. For example, it will include a viable financial and implementation plan to support the recommended improvements. The high cost levels associated with the recommended improvements and an assessment of revenue sources for funding these costs will be considered.
“Something is bound to happen here soon,” stated Sheppard referring to Iqaluit’s future public transportation.