EDMONTON -- With temperatures about to dip in the Edmonton area, the city activated its Extreme Weather Response to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

The response provides support through several areas, including shelter space and transit.

The city said there are still available beds in some shelters, and the overall system still has capacity, but 50 additional beds are being added at Tipinawâw. The Mustard Seed will open Trinity Lutheran Church to provide shelter space for up to 40 people, and the Al Rashid Mosque has space for up to 72 people.

The city, along with Homeward Trust and other community partners, are also prepared to add additional capacity if necessary.

Edmonton Transit System will run two dedicated overnight bus routes — one in the north, and one in the south — that travel between emergency shelters, transit centres, and other key locations, to make sure everyone who needs access to a shelter has a way to get there.

Staff will be on the dedicated buses to provide COVID-19 screening, masks for those who need them, and to help determine which shelter would meet the individual’s needs best.

The service starts Thursday, running 10:30 p.m. to 8 a.m., and is free of charge.

In addition to the dedicated bus loops, ETS will continue its practice of picking up passengers at most stops when weather is -20 C and below with wind chill.

LRT stations will not be utilized as part of this emergency response, and will operate during transit service hours only.