February 11, 2020
On Sunday, February 9, the first buses departed from the new Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage in northeast Edmonton. The new garage is home to approximately 300 ETS buses, over 400 City staff, and required infrastructure and technology to maintain and deliver bus service for Edmontonians.
“This is an exciting milestone for Edmonton, as we prepare for a future of two million people,” said Eddie Robar, ETS Branch Manager. “This new garage is full of innovative and environmentally sustainable features that make it one of North America’s leading transit facilities. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The new garage is named after Edmonton’s first woman Transit Operator, Kathleen Andrews, who joined ETS in 1975. During 23 years with ETS, she inspired many women to follow in her footsteps, including her daughter, Lisa, who is also an ETS Transit Operator and Instructor.
The new garage replaces the aging Westwood Transit Garage and utilizes land that sat vacant for decades. Construction began in summer 2016 and was completed on time and on budget in late 2019. This was possible through coordinated work from many different branches and departments within the City.
The LEED Silver certified garage occupies 10 acres of land and accommodates approximately 275 conventional buses as well as infrastructure to support 30 of ETS’ 40 new electric buses. Environmental stewardship was considered in many aspects of the design, including efficient LED lighting throughout. An innovative and environmentally conscious bus wash was also designed that collects rainwater from the roof. Rainwater is stored in a 1.5 million litre cistern, then combined with city water and used to wash the buses.
“This new garage is about so much more than just housing buses,” said Jesse Banford, Acting Branch Manager, Infrastructure Delivery. “Its innovative and environmental features put it at the top of its class, and we’re proud to deliver this incredible facility to Edmontonians.”
The new garage sits on the former Canada Packers site. As part of historical restoration efforts, the iconic smokestack was refurbished and serves as a visual reminder of the site’s storied past. A relaxing park space also encompasses this area of the site. The new garage also features an artwork installation on the roof, titled
53°30’N. The artwork features five topographic models of mountainscapes from across the world that all lie on the same latitude as the garage. The artwork is installed on the faces of five lanterns that can be seen glowing in the nighttime.
A more formal “ribbon cutting” grand opening will take place at the new garage in late spring, once electric bus infrastructure has been installed and tested.