Community Stories

Red Deer Transit weathers the storm

On the evening of June 20, Red Deer Transit operators were doing what they do every evening – getting Red Deerians home from school and work – when the unexpected wind storm hit our city.

On the evening of June 20, Red Deer Transit operators were doing what they do every evening – getting Red Deerians home from school and work – when the unexpected wind storm hit our city. With buses operating across the city, Red Deer Transit sprang into action to ensure customers made it home safely.

When the sudden storm whipped up around 7:15 p.m., drivers reported near zero visibility, and by 7:30 p.m., a call went out from the Operations Supervisor instructing drivers to either park their buses at the midway point of their route or return to Sorensen Station until the winds died down.

As anyone in the community knows, the damage sustained during the short but intense storm was significant and it wasn’t long before all buses were recalled back to Sorensen Station due to the danger of fallen trees and power lines. As buses returned to the station, they picked up any passengers they saw along the way.

Back at Sorensen Station, staff assisted stranded customers, arranging taxis to drive them home where possible. Other staff headed back out on the road in smaller supervisor vehicles to survey the damage and determine what areas buses could safely return to.

Based on this information, four drivers headed out and were able to get more customers safely home – they might not have been dropped off at their regular stop, but they got as close as possible!

With all of the information coming in from the staff out on the road, staff determined how to best resume service with the least disruptions possible, and by 10:15 p.m., buses were once again running from Sorensen Station.

“I am incredibly proud of how Red Deer Transit staff pulled together to ensure the safety of our customers,” said George Penny, Transit Manager. “This was an unprecedented event in our community, but our response highlights the dedication and commitment of our hardworking staff, and for that, I thank them.”