Collaborative approach

Through our 25-year Integrated Regional Transportation Master Plan (IRTMP), we have an interconnected roadmap for planning transportation in the Region. It is an essential piece of the economic corridor puzzle that sets out how we will move people, goods and services to, from, and throughout the Region. The plan reflects a shift from a historic largely road-centric approach to a multi-modal vision for efficient land use with a focus on our Region’s highest transportation priorities. 

Visionary regional planning

Planning for the Anthony Henday Drive, the first freeway to surround a major Canadian city, began in the 1960s. It is one of the busiest highways in Western Canada, carrying over 108,000 vehicles per day (2019).


47 minutes 48 seconds

average commute time in the Edmonton CMA in 2021 – 4 minutes less than in 2016

$94 million

annual savings per one minute reduction in commute times

Regional transportation for healthy, sustainable, diverse and prosperous communities

IRTMP Transportation Cargo plane on EIA tarmac

Our regional transportation plan supports the following objectives:

Sustainable and resilient communities

Transportation choices that reduce the Region’s overall environmental impacts, and foster vibrant and better-connected communities.

Healthy human and natural systems

Policies that lead to healthier, safer and more active communities that also reduce impacts on the local environment.

Economic competitiveness and prosperity

Promoting economic development of the Region to be globally competitive.

Inclusivity and responsiveness to the Region’s diverse needs

Policies and planning that are inclusive of the varied needs of residents and businesses of diverse cultural, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Four interconnected strategies work together to achieve our goals:

Connecting goods to market

Promoting the Region’s competitiveness, prosperity and economy through the efficient flow of goods and access to services.

Getting people to jobs and services

Creating a shift to choice of options such as transit, walking, biking and shared mobility services.

Best use of existing corridors and infrastructure

Attaining the most benefit from existing infrastructure before investing in new capacity.

Connecting modes of transportation and supporting new modes of travel

Creating a well-connected and varied transportation network that fosters choice of integrated transportation modes to reduce environmental impacts.

A regional model and prioritization process

Working with municipal members, regional stakeholders and Alberta Transportation, a modelling platform was purpose-built for the Region. The model is highly flexible and can be used regionally, sub-regionally, or by an individual municipality. The platform enables decision-makers to prioritize transportation infrastructure projects by regional significance.

IRTMP Vinca Bridge

Working together on what’s most important

The Region’s transportation priorities list is submitted to the Government of Alberta for consideration in their annual capital planning and budgeting process. This regional approach creates efficiencies in capital planning, aligns with the transportation plan’s objectives, and ensures funding is maximized for the greatest benefit to the Region.

Edmonton Parliament Grounds

The projects are categorized by project phase before the scoring is completed. The project phases are:

  • Advance to planning
  • Ready for design
  • Ready for construction

Each of these three categories is evaluated based on five broad categories of criteria — economic competitiveness; sustainable and resilient communities; health and environment; serving diverse needs of the Region; and funding and value — with the level of evaluation detail increasing with the level of project development. 

How we developed our transportation plan

The Region has experienced change and significant growth since the first regional transportation plan was adopted in 2011. 

The current plan was developed between 2019 and 2021, led by a task force made up of mayors and council members from across the Region, and representatives from Alberta Transportation. The task force was supported by a working group of technical experts from regional municipalities and Alberta Transportation. 

A new CN Rail hopper train car is seen at a railyard.

Key inputs

The regional transportation plan builds on direction provided by the growth plan, but also reflects transportation planning at the municipal and provincial levels, including municipal transportation master plans and Alberta Transportation plans and strategies.

Several additional inputs informed the development of strategies and policies:

Stakeholder engagement to gather input from diverse groups representing a range of modes, from railways to airports to motor vehicle associations, and a range of interests, from industrial associations to health care and education.

Case studies to better understand emerging technologies and services, trends and best practices, and gain insights from peer metropolitan regions on how to deliver such a vision.

Scenario analysis to examine several “what-if” policy and investment scenarios to better understand the impact of specific transportation strategies and investment decisions.

Long-term planning with Alberta Transportation

In 2023, building off the success of the Region’s 25-year transportation plan, Alberta Transportation approached the EMRB to work together to build out their provincial 50-year transportation plan for the Region. 

Read the Edmonton Region Network Study
Edmonton Walterdale Bridge october 2022

A plan that not only keeps up with today, but provides for the future transportation needs of a fast-growing Region.

Thanks to our ongoing regional planning work, the province can use EMRB’s transportation plan as the foundation of its planning work, resulting in savings of time and money.

Regional transit

Transit services across the Region continue to be provided through conventional municipal transit agencies and specialized transit services. 

At the time of developing the regional transportation plan, there also existed the Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Services Commission (EMTSC), an independent regional initiative aimed at coordinating regional transit services to improve and optimize regional connectivity. The EMTSC would have aligned its service delivery and operational initiatives to the long range transportation needs articulated in the IRTMP.

Learn more about EMTSC
IRTMP Transit bus bike on bus