Massive cuts to CTrain frequencies due to Calgary budget slash

Aug 10 2019, 4:06 pm

There will be far longer waits for the CTrain on both the Red Line and Blue Line starting on September 2 as a result of city council’s approved budget cuts last month.

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About 80,000 service hours on the public transit system are being cut, with much of this being taken out of Calgary’s arterial rail transit system.

On the Red Line, weekend train frequencies will fall from every 10 minutes to 15 minutes, while weekday train frequencies between 8 pm and 10 pm will drop from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes.

Similar frequency cuts will be coming to the Blue Line, with weekend train frequencies seeing reductions from 10 minutes to 16 minutes, and weekday train frequencies between 8 pm and 10 pm dropping from every 10 minutes to every 16 minutes.

These decreases represent a service frequency cut of 50% during the affected times.

The CTrain service cuts are happening outside of the weekday peak hour periods and on weekends, when ridership is typically lower. But it goes without saying that this will be an added inconvenience for passengers, as it will not only mean longer train waits but also longer transfers.

Furthermore, more than half of Calgary Transit’s bus routes will see frequency changes and/or service start and end time changes. Some of the bus changes are improvements, while most are cutbacks on operating hours and frequencies, particularly on night buses and weekend services.

“This year, we were asked to find savings in our budget for the remainder of 2019, so our review of routes and schedules included identifying ways that we could save while taking least-harm approach to our service levels,” explained Calgary Transit in a bulletin.

All of this is a result of $60 million in cuts to municipal services from the annual budget in a bid to provide relief to Calgary’s small businesses. Budgets have been slashed in corporate programs ($6.253 million), fire and emergency response ($7.625 million), police services ($7 million), and public transit ($6.893 million).

The cuts have led to 115 jobs lost and a total of 223 positions cut, and the reduction of four medical response units and one rescue unit.

The 2019 operating budget for the city was originally slated to be $4.083 billion.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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