West LRT impact on bus service worries Calgary commuters
Residents concerned transit travel times will increase
The train line is expected to change many things for the people who live in communities along its route, but not everyone is convinced they'll see benefits.
When the C-Trains roll west, starting Dec. 10, many buses will stop running downtown. Instead, Calgary Transit will switch to feeder routes, funneling passengers to the nearest LRT station.
Myrtle Sproule says with the transfers, her family is facing longer commutes.
Sproule is one of more than 900 people who signed a petition against cancelling the 101 bus, which goes straight down Bow Trail to downtown.
Sproule says if people’s time on transit increases, they'll end up driving instead.
"If it's inconvenient enough, they will and that kind of goes against what we're trying to do putting public transit in."
A former president of community association near the line, Andy Kneubuhler worked with Calgary Transit on the new feeder bus system.
He says the West LRT will mean quicker commutes for most, pointing out sometimes it can take half an hour just to get out of downtown.
"That wasn't unusual in the winter, so you know that's kind of the time or even less than that that transit is saying it'll take the train to get from downtown out to 69th Street."
Neil McKendrick with Calgary Transit says they can't have buses competing against the billion-dollar train line.
"You can move a lot more people on an LRT than you can on a bus and all of our bus routes serving west Calgary are crowded and it's very expensive to add additional buses."
McKendrick adds the route changes mean other benefits — there will be 60 fewer buses on overtaxed downtown streets every rush hour.
Transit plans to review the new routes in a few months and if needed, make adjustments.