Black Diamond + Turner Valley Community Transportation Study

Project Details
Service: Transportation
Client: Towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, AB
Location: Diamond Valley, AB
Year: 2018-2021

Black Diamond + Turner Valley Community Transportation Study

WATT was retained by the Towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley to develop a transit strategy to improve the mobility options for their citizens between the two small towns and to regional destinations.
Engagement + Design

The project was guided by a project Steering Committee made up of representative residents, elected officials, and staff from the two sponsoring municipalities and undertook extensive engagement with stakeholders and existing transportation providers, including rural and Indigenous communities in the surrounding area. The engagement included various workshops and interviews, which helped determine the region’s transportation needs, issues and opportunities. This outreach was supported through analysis of existing transportation services, community plans and demographic research.

The project team developed preliminary service concepts, mapping, operating and capital cost estimates, recommended governance structures, fares and other supporting measures, and potential operating models. These proposals were then further refined through public engagement and a workshop with municipal staff and elected officials.

Challenges + Solutions

Sensitive to the financial constraints often facing smaller, more rural communities, an implementation strategy was developed for the regional service that explored innovative partnership opportunities between the Towns, the Foothills School Division, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Foothills, and private long-distance carrier/transit provider Southland Transportation Ltd.

A partnership between the Town of Black Diamond and the Boys & Girls Club was subsequently formed and WATT helped the partners to implement the on-demand community transportation service—now called the Sheep River Shuttle–in early 2021. In addition to providing guidance on implementation timelines and tasks, the WATT team provided contract and policy review for the new service and developed customer information materials.


Pictured: Operator – Boys and Girls Club of Canada


The resulting Sheep River Shuttle partnership enables regional transportation services to leverage and share community resources to make them financially sustainable and to ensure that transportation assets are as well-utilized as possible.


Project Team:
Tania Wegwitz
Filippos Gkekas
Shilpa Panicker
Helen Cook
Matthew Lilly
Tim Shah

Kari Anderson
Pawanee Nawaratna

Transportation Consulting Services:

  • Feasibility Study
  • Partnership Development
  • Implementation Support
  • On-Call Transit Planning & Scheduling