Calgary’s a pretty big place, and while onlookers may assume that we’re all owners of lifted Ford trucks, there are still plenty of people in the city that need public transit to get to where they’re going.
Luckily enough for them, the city has plans to create four new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines that will connect to Calgary’s existing rapid transit network.
“The new service isn’t LRT, but it isn’t a regular bus service either,” said City Councillor Shane Keating in a blog post.
“It’s something totally different.”
The BRT lines will run with fewer stops than your regular bus routes, at higher frequencies, and on dedicated laneways for quicker travel time.
Those waiting for the BRT buses will be able to do so in heated shelters, while keeping an eye on electronic displays that show exactly when the next bus is expected to arrive.
The four routes will be created with the $304 million that was funded by the City of Calgary, the Government of Alberta, and the Government of Canada.
Here’s what the new routes will look like when connected to the LRT lines:
The new routes will be rolled out alongside a $366,000 marketing campaign alerting Calgarians of the new lines. The campaign expects to increase ridership by three to five per cent, and Keating said that if ridership is increased by even three per cent the campaign will have made its money back within the first one to two years.
The South Crosstown BRT, North Crosstown BRT, and 17th Ave SE BRT lines are expected to be operational by this fall, while the SW BRT will open sometime in 2019.
City Council estimates that the routes will carry a combined total of 30,000 daily commuters once opened, and will enhance public transit for 320,000 people across 53 Calgary communities.
“The benefits of those investments will be realized by Calgarians very soon,” said Keating.
“These are investments that will revolutionize our city, and I’m thrilled that I have had a chance to play my part in this process.”