City council has approved a major expansion of Calgary Transit worth almost $900 million for dedicated busways and express bus routes that could spread across the city over the next seven years.
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"Today's a big day, one of probably the most important days since I've been mayor," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Council previously voted to use money from a tax hike over 10 years to kick-start funding for a new dedicated busway that will stretch from north Calgary to the city's deep southeast.
Today it approved that route, as well as other upgrades and bus rapid transit (BRT) routes for the city.
Chris Jordan with Calgary Transit says improvements on some of the lines will also speed up trips for commuters.
"Like the Centre Street transit-only lanes through McKnight Boulevard, one kilometre of transit-only lanes that get the buses moving faster through a congested area, and we'll be looking at targeted improvements like that on all of these corridors where we do own the land and we can move ahead fast," he said.
However, building out this plan will require the federal and provincial governments to come through with $400 million — and there's no guarantee that money is coming.