EDMONTON -- Construction on the 1,100-stall Heritage Valley Transit Centre and Park-and-Ride was completed in December 2019, but it hasn't yet been used. 

The future LRT station is meant to act as an important link to the rest of the transit system with shuttle buses carrying passengers to Century Park Station every five minutes.

The shuttle service was originally slated to begin in early 2020, but budget cuts in November 2019 pushed opening day back to December 2020.

“From a park-and-ride perspective, this lot is vital, and it will be vital,” Ward 9 Coun. Tim Cartmell told CTV News Edmonton.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing transit ridership to plummet, and a delay to the Bus Network Redesign, the Heritage Valley Transit Centre’s opening may be further postponed.

"Despite ongoing financial and operational challenges due to COVID-19, Administration continues to be on schedule to begin operating this shuttle service this December. ETS will not be in a position to implement the shuttle service before December due to resource constraints," ETS spokesperson Rowan Anderson said. 

“I think the park and ride will be an element of our transit system no matter what we activate, the question is where are we at with the bus network redesign, where are we at with demand on the transit system period,” Cartmell said.

Opening the $30-million transit centre in a way that integrates with a system that is about to completely change is a tricky task.

“It will require remaining adaptable, remaining nimble,” Cartmell said, “and being willing to change a little more frequently, and a little more on the fly to suit those demands.”

As it stands, the city website still lists December as a target opening date for the centre. 

According to city data, transit ridership sits at 50 per cent of average levels. 

Normal service, including bus routes to Century Park, will return Aug. 30.