Calgary Ald. Bob Hawkesworth, who is also running for mayor, is trying to kickstart a southeast leg of the LRT.

The veteran alderman proposed Tuesday building a line at 10th Avenue S.E. all the way to Douglasdale. He said construction could begin when the west leg of the LRT is complete, scheduled for 2012.

"Light rail transit can be running here, if you can imagine, here on 10th Avenue, inside of five years' time. That's five short years we can make this happen," said Hawkesworth.

He suggested that city council apply for maximum funding of $800 million from Alberta's Green Trips program, which has allotted money for public transit projects in the Calgary area. The City of Calgary would need to raise one-third of the cost, or about $300 million.

The project would create jobs and provide transportation for up to 150,000 southeast Calgary residents, he added.

City council will debate Hawkesworth's proposal on July 19.

Ten other men are vying for the mayor's job to be decided at the October municipal election.

With files from the CBC's Scott Dippel