Gateway Gazette

Calgary Region Transit gets $187 million GreenTRIP Boost

 

Grants to regional municipalities support new bus rapid transit, LRT upgrades, and the purchase of new buses and transit facilities.

The Alberta government’s commitment to accessible, rider-friendly public transit includes support for:

“This GreenTRIP investment will expand and enhance transit service throughout the Calgary region and the Bow Valley corridor. Improved regional transit will benefit both riders and the environment. Our government is committed to investing in infrastructure that gets Albertans moving while driving economic growth.”

~ Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“This important investment will dramatically improve public transit options for Calgarians. Four new cross-town rapid transit routes will make it easier for our citizens to get to school and work. Upgrades to the LRT system will make it more reliable and able to serve more people.”

~ Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary

“As our residents seek efficient, accessible ways to travel, more and more are choosing to use public transit. GreenTRIP support is helping to ensure regional transit will continue to meet the needs of our communities.”

~ John Borrowman, Mayor of Canmore and Chair of the Transportation Committee of the Calgary Regional Partnership

“The Canadian Urban Transit Association applauds Alberta for its commitment to public transit and urban mobility. By dedicating stable public transit funding, GreenTRIP directly contributes to the economic and environmental well-being of Albertan communities.”

~ Patrick Leclerc, Canadian Urban Transit Association President & CEO

The Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) provides funding to municipalities in support of local sustainable public transit projects, including purchasing transit vehicles and technologies, building transit terminals and expanding light rail transit services to increase ridership and reduce traffic congestion.

The government has committed $2 billion to GreenTRIP by 2020-21. Albertans are already seeing the benefits of the program through 15 transit projects, worth more than $1 billion.

Background on Calgary’s Transit Upgrades

17 Avenue Transitway – $65.3 million awarded

Construction to begin in 2016 with completion expected in 2022

  • The 17th Avenue SE Transitway is identified as one of the backbones of the primary transit network
  • 17th Avenue has identified as a high priority in Calgary Transit’s strategic plan, RouteAhead.
  • The 17th Avenue SE corridor between 26 Street SE and Hubalta Road SE plays many important roles including: being the original main street of the Forest Lawn community, it’s a secondary highway with regional connections, a culturally diverse hub (International Avenue), and is identified as part of Calgary’s primary transit network
  • It is also defined as an Urban Boulevard (mixed-use) which is expected to experience significant land use redevelopment in the future.
  • New transportation infrastructure investments along 17th Avenue SE are crucial to support the wide range of functions along this corridor.
  • The benefits of this project include: improved streetscape and pedestrian amenities, opportunities for redevelopment, improved connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, and improved transit times and reliability.
  • In addition this project aligns with major road reconstruction required this decade.
  • GreenTRIP funding will be used for the planning, design and construction of the facility.

South Crosstown BRT: $13.3 million awarded

Construction to begin in 2016 with completion expected in 2018.

  • The South Crosstown bus rapid transit (BRT) service extends the existing South Crosstown service between Westbrook and Heritage LRT stations.
  • This extension provides a connection between the south LRT line at Heritage Station and the Southeast Transitway at Quarry Park.
  • The service will operate in mixed traffic, with transit priority measures installed along Heritage Drive.
  • Key benefits to this project include: provides east-west rapid transit connection in south Calgary, reduced travel times for transit users from west Calgary travelling to the southeast.
  • GreenTRIP funding will be used for the planning, design and construction of the facility.

North Crosstown BRT: $33.3 million awarded

Construction to begin in 2016 with completion expected in 2018.

  • The North Crosstown bus rapid transit (BRT) service provides a direct east-west crosstown transit connection between Saddletowne LRT Station (Blue Line), and Brentwood LRT Station (Red Line) with connections to the Green Line, University of Calgary, SAIT, Foothills Hospital, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and West Campus.
  • The route also provides rapid transit service along the 16 Avenue North urban corridor. The service will operate mainly in regular traffic lanes with potential for bus-only or high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on 16th Avenue N and 52 Street E, with transit priority at intersections along the full route.
  • Key benefits to this project include: reduced travel time for transit users particularly those travelling from northeast Calgary to the University of Calgary, SAIT, Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and West Campus, improved transit service reliability and passenger capacity in north Calgary and along the 16th Avenue N Urban Corridor.
  • This project will address CTrain crowding by offering an east-west alternative for existing transit travel demand, bypassing the busy downtown corridor.

LRT Traction Power: $24 million funded.

Work is currently underway with completion expected by 2018.

  • Calgary Transit is preparing the LRT network for greater frequency of four-car service.
  • The supporting infrastructure must be upgraded and improved to meet the increased demands of the system, including the traction power system which must be capable of supplying the increased electrical load associated with the greater level of LRT service.
  • The traction power upgrade project currently underway will allow for limited operation of four-car trains on the Red Line, Calgary’s busiest LRT route.
  • In order to allow for all trains to operate with four-cars with greater frequency on the full LRT network further electrical upgrades are necessary to the Red Line and Blue Line.
  • Project deliverables would include four new substations and upgrades to seven substations on the Blueline.

Southwest Transitway: $26.7 million funded

Construction to begin in 2016 with completion expected in 2022

  • The Southwest Transitway will improve transit travel times between southwest communities, downtown and major destinations including Mount Royal University, Rockyview General Hospital, Heritage Park and Glenmore Landing with bus rapid transit (BRT) service.
  • This project will provide transit-only lanes and transit-only roadways to build on the success of the Crowchild Trail transit-only lanes.
  • Benefits of this project include an improved customer experience from faster transit travel times and punctual schedules. This project will provide a rapid transit alternative for existing customers who currently use the South LRT, and will attract new transit riders.
  • Rapid transit access will support redevelopment at Glenmore Landing and lands surrounding Mount Royal University, including Currie Barracks.
  • GreenTRIP funding will be used for the planning, design and construction of the facility.

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