At the March 23 Council meeting, Council directed Administration to draft relevant bylaw amendments and procedures for the following:
- Extending the property tax deadline for both residential and non-residential property owners to August 31.
- Eliminating penalty fees for May and July, as well as NSF charges on TIPPs until September 1.
- Pausing all notices and reminders for tax arrears until September 1.
Bylaws amendments for these tax deferrals are set to come forward at a future Council meeting.
The City of Grande Prairie recognizes that families and businesses are facing a great deal of uncertainty as a result of COVID-19. Taking early action on something within the municipality's control was a key factor for our Council.
Free fares for all riders including users of our paratransit service is in place until the end of May.
All existing rider passes will be extended by a month once City operations return to normal service delivery.
UPDATE: Transit fares will be re-instated as of Monday, June 29. Passengers who had valid monthly passes as of March 19 will automatically receive a full month added to their pass.
Bus Pass Purchase Locations
Starting June 29, regular transit passes will be available for purchase at City Hall and the Ernie Radbourne Pavilion in Muskoseepi Park as transit services resume.
Passengers who had valid monthly passes as of March 19 will automatically receive a full month added to their pass.
Transit Access Passes, offering a 50% subsidy on the Grande Prairie Transit SUPERPASS to qualifying applicants, will also be available for application at City Hall and the Ernie Radbourne Pavilion in Muskoseepi Park. For more information, visit cityofgp.com/tap.
City Hall visitors are asked to use hand sanitizer as they enter facilities, practice physical distancing and stay home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Health and Safety Practices
The following measures are being put in place to avoid the spread of the pandemic:
- Boarding will be from the front door and all passengers are asked to leave the bus using the back doors only. Customers who require the ramp, such as wheelchair users, can still board using the front door.
- Additional safety features are being implemented for transit operators and passengers by way of driver barriers and/or face shields.
- Passengers are asked not to stand near the operators but rather to take a seat on the bus and in doing so sit apart from each other if possible to ensure the health of residents and operators.
- The first seat on all buses will be unavailable to riders. This is to exercise safe social distancing between operators and riders. This does not impact wheelchair-accessible seating.
- We have increased the frequency of wipe-downs for high contact areas of the bus.
- In keeping with provincial guidelines, it is recommended that all passengers wear masks to protect themselves and other passengers.
- Riders who are feeling ill, have been tested positive for or suspect being exposed to COVID-19 are asked to refrain from using transit services until their health recovers.
Starting September 1, mask wearing is required on all transit buses.
Our goal is to ensure people continue to feel confident and comfortable in the safety of our transit services as ridership increases during the back-to-school season and physical distancing may not be possible on the buses. It is another measure to protect the health and wellbeing of all transit users and prevent the spread of the pandemic in the community at large.
Disposable masks will be available upon boarding for riders who do not have their own.
Exemptions for the mask requirement are available for:
- Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;
- Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
- Children under 5 years of age;
- Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access; and
- Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency situation.
The City of Grande Prairie thanks all transit users for their understanding and co-operation as we all do our part for the community.
Effective Monday, April 13 transit service hours are being adjusted to support the City of Grande Prairie’s continued commitment to the health, safety and well-being of the community and our employees.
To improve social distancing, we ask that people use public transit only for essential travel such as medical appointments, work and grocery shopping.
Weekday service Monday to Friday will operate as follows:
- Frequency of Routes 1, 2, and 3 during peak periods will change from 30-minute service to 60-minute service.
- All routes will end approximately one hour earlier in the evening.
- Routes 1 to 4 end at 8:15 p.m. at Town Centre Mall
- Route 5 ends at 8:06 p.m. at Prairie Mall
- Route 6 ends at 8:00 p.m. at Eastlink Centre
- All routes will end approximately two hours earlier in the evening.
- Routes 1 to 4 ends at 7:15 p.m. at Town Centre Mall
- Route 5 ends at 7:05 p.m. at Prairie Mall
- Route 6 ends at 7:00 p.m. at Eastlink
- There will be no changes to Sunday or holiday service.
- The City of Grande Prairie appreciates everyone’s co-operation and understanding during these adjustments.
Transit Buses Experiencing Reduced Capacity
Due to physical distancing and other provincial health requirements, transit buses are experiencing a reduced capacity and are limiting the number of passengers on each bus at a time.
In order to maintain physical distancing requirements, a number of seats on each bus are taped off, limiting ridership to approximately 8-10 riders at one time per bus.
We are encouraging people to use transit for essential purposes only so that we can get the most people to where they need to go.
We apologize for any inconvenience but appreciate riders’ patience and co-operation as we take this measure to protect the health of all of our residents and community while continuing to provide this essential service.
For questions, please contact 780-538-0300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-Demand Evening Service
To accommodate rider needs during the evening, an on-demand by-reservation pilot project is beginning on Monday, April 13. It provides transit between existing bus stops.
The service is limited to essential trips for work, medical, groceries, and pharmacy.
The service is available Monday to Friday 8:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. and Saturday 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
Reservation requests must be submitted before noon on the day of the planned trip. Requests will be reviewed and responded to with a pick-up time window and bus stop location.
To submit a reservation, call 780-830-7433. All bookings require a name, email address, phone number and nearest bus stop or address, and destination. A home address will be used only to help locate the nearest bus stop.
To cancel a reservation, please call 780-830-7433. Failure to cancel a reservation may result in removal from the program.
Grande Prairie Accessible Transit (GPAT) is modifying its service as a result of the current COVID-19 situation and to better match the demands we are experiencing. GPAT trips for accessible transportation will continue for registered clients. Effective Monday, April 13, 2020, this service will be limited to bookings for essential travel for medical appointments, work and grocery shopping only.
A two-passenger limit will be implemented where possible across all GPAT vehicles as an added measure of protection for the safety of customers and operators.
Hours of operation for accessible buses are being adjusted as follows:
- Monday to Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (last pick up at 8:15 p.m.)
- Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (last pick up at 6:15 p.m.)
Dispatcher hours are being adjusted to Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for bookings.
The current 7-day advance booking period will remain with the exception of allowing up to 9 days for bookings that are made on Fridays, in order to accommodate bookings for the following weekend.
If you need to cancel your trip after-hours call dispatch at 780-830-7433 and leave a message.
Effective April 10, 2020, the County Connector Public Transit Service is suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Read the full media release here.
The COVID-19 Community Care Program: Food & Pharmacy helps ensure residents of the GPREP service
area have continued access to essential items, like food and medication, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program is dedicated to helping vulnerable individuals and families – those at heightened risk who have no other supports available, and are in urgent need of food, medication and essential goods.
Residents of all ages from the GPREP service area (the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Hythe, Sexsmith, Wembley) who have an urgent need for essential goods because they:
- do not have access to other financial support to purchase essential goods
- are unable to visit stores, supermarkets and pharmacies because of requirements for self-isolation, as directed by Alberta Health Services and have no one who can assist them
- live in a location within the GPREP service area where delivery service is not available
To apply, fill out the application here.
Learn more at www.gprep.ca/covid19/communitycare/ or by calling the hotline at 780-830-7070.
Salvation Army Food Bank
The Salvation Army Food Bank office is open 8:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Call 780-532-3720 for more information.
Grande Prairie & District Victims Services
Grande Prairie and District Victim Services are offering delivery of groceries and prescriptions. Contact them at 780-830-5897.
Other Delivery Options
Many grocery stores and pharmacies are offering local delivery. Please contact your store to inquire about what options are available.
Aquatera continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and act accordingly as new information becomes available. To date, there are no interruptions to water, wastewater, solid waste (garbage and recycling) or curbside collection services.
To stay up-to-date on their services during the pandemic, visit www.aquatera.ca/covid19