After years of viewing each other as rivals in the push to get light rail transit in their parts of the city, some residents of north and southeast Calgary have decided to work together to get the trains running.
The newly founded citizens' group LRT On The Green met for the first time on Tuesday night.
The non-profit aims to speed up progress on the recently-approved Green Line, a separate bus-only roadway that will stretch from Harvest Hills in the city’s far north to the new hospital in the deep southeast.
It will be designed so it can later be converted for C-Train use.
Doug Hayden, who co-founded the group, said residents need a unified voice to advocate that the LRT line gets built by 2021.
“The stakeholders, and by that I mean the developers and the businesses that would be along this route, they're already in communications with planning and some of the city folk, but there's no real voice for the amount of people that are affected,” he said.
“So, that voice typically comes from community associations or homeowners associations. Those are the people we want to have one voice for, to say you know what, it's time to get this line built.”
The group is currently looking for board members and hopes to have its first committee meeting by December.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating said having a united voice is crucial.
"We have to lead it and it is our job to push, which is what I've been doing for the past four years — and successfully, because we are getting there much faster than we were before,” he said.
“But now it’s the citizens’ approach, to make sure the other orders of government actually come in and make this dream come to fruition."
The new transit line is expected to cost the city $764 million, but that price will jump considerably if the LRT conversion happens.
Below is a detailed map of the proposed Green Line. On mobile, or want a closer look, click here.