What's next for Calgary's LRT system?
Pressure for southeast line growing
The completion of the West LRT line, which opens on Dec. 10, means the attention now turns to what project will be next — and the pressure for a southeast line is growing as the population of the quadrant continues to leap.
Anyone who lives in communities like Douglasdale, McKenzie Towne or Copperfield know that a single traffic accident on Deerfoot Trail during rush hour can cause major delays on the way to work.
Local realtor Doug Hayden is so tired of waiting for the LRT to come to McKenzie Towne, he recently posted a video rant on his blog.
"So listen you guys — you zombies at City Hall — why don't you get on with it, OK? Get the LRTs built," he said.
Hayden, who is part of a group pushing for a southeast LRT line, says it's his quadrant's turn for trains.
"It's always been 10 years, 10 years, 10 years — so it's getting to the point now where people are getting so frustrated that they've started to want to move away from this end of the city," he said.
Standing in the park-and-ride lot in McKenzie Towne, where even the Bus Rapid Transit takes an hour to get downtown, Hayden says he can't understand why the trains aren't ready yet.
"I literally move you know one person about every two months out of this area because of transportation issues, but I get more than that, I get a lot of people calling me because they're getting very frustrated with the commute, period," he said.
While the almost $3 billion pricetag seems to be a big roadblock, he says the province's willingness to look at borrowing for infrastructure offers some hope.
"I mean it's like building a house," he said. "If you want to live in a house for 20 years right? Well maybe a mortgage is a smart idea."
A city report due later this month is expected to prioritize which LRT projects should be next.