West leg of LRT sparks concerns for commuters
Calgary Transit says LRT will cut down on travel time to downtown
Posted: May 10, 2012 6:39 AM MT
Last Updated: May 10, 2012 9:25 AM MT
The new west leg of Calgary's light rail transit (LRT) system is supposed to make commutes into downtown Calgary faster, but some Calgarians worry it will only increase their travel time.
After the LRT opens — sometime next spring — several bus routes that had previously fed into the city will instead take passengers to one of six west LRT stations.
The move is being touted as one that will save commuters roughly five to 15 minutes of travel time.
Neil McKendrick, Calgary's manager of transit planning, says officials are confident this will improve travel for those headed downtown.
"We're pretty confident we've probably got about 90 per cent of it right," McKendrick said.
"Whenever you do one of these things, you're going to uncover things as people start using it that maybe we can improve on."
But many public transit users in the city worry that the rerouting will only slow them down.
Bow Trail and 17th Avenue will no longer have buses headed to and from the core. Instead, buses will travel north and south to take commuters to one of the LRT stations.
Laura Buckingham moved to Wildwood for quicker access to the core. Typically when she goes to work, she takes the bus and averages a time of half an hour.
Next year, when buses become north-south routes and LRTs take people west or east to downtown, Buckingham said she believes her commute could increase by an extra 20 minutes.
"It'll be just less convenient," she said. "Right now, I get on one bus and it takes me straight to work."
But Calgary Transit says there is not enough capacity for buses along those routes at the moment.
With no buses to downtown, the traffic coordinator in the Glendale community, Grant McArthur, worries trains will run out of space.
"I think part of their concern is that, are they going to get a seat on the LRT or are they doing to have to do like some people do on the south leg, where they'll jump on at Southland and take it down to the end so they have a seat all the way downtown," McArthur said.
Calgary Transit says it has been holding open houses, community meetings and doing trial runs on the new feeder routes to make sure they are as efficient as possible.
As well, many of these new routes will work to the city's advantage as Calgary grows, according to officials.
Latest Calgary News Headlines
- Busy parking spots in Calgary may soon cost more
- A council committee has accepted a plan to base inner-city parking rates on how popular parking is on any given street. more »
- Animals rescued from shelter in SPCA probe
- As the Alberta SPCA investigates an animal rescue operation west of Calgary, other shelters are stepping in to care for its displaced animals. more »
- Conservationists pan Mount Norquay expansion plan
- Conservation groups say a newly-approved plan to expand Mount Norquay ski hill in Banff will have a negative impact on wildlife. more »
- Lindale fire doubles in size within hours
- A fire which was discovered west of Lindale, Alta. around 3 p.m. Wednesday more than doubled in size over a couple of hours. more »
Top News Headlines
- Harper 'not consulted' about Duffy Senate expense repayment
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that not only did he not know about his chief of staff's "gift" to repay Senator Mike Duffy's expenses before the story broke in the media, he was not consulted and did not sign off on Nigel Wright's decision to write a personal cheque. more »
- 2 infants confirmed among dead of Oklahoma tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of 10 children. more »
- 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
- Sharlene Bosma told more than 1,000 people at the public memorial service for her slain husband, Tim Bosma, about the love they shared. more »
- Mayor Ford stays silent while his brother defends him
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to stonewall the media over allegations that he was recorded on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, but his brother Coun. Doug Ford told reporters Wednesday that the story is untrue. more »
- Danielle Smith slams Redford at Calgary leader's dinner
- S.E. Calgary man missing since February
- Graphic anti-abortion leaflet campaign expands
- Animals rescued from shelter in SPCA probe
- Brooks celebrates hockey win with parade
- 10 must try food truck street eats
- Mount Norquay gets approval to expand
- Deadly tornadoes can strike Alberta, say experts
- SPCA investigates animal rescue farm near Calgary