Calgary moves ahead with transitway plans

Calgary officials will spend money from the city coffers for planning studies on the Southeast Transitway.

Calgary officials will spend money from the city coffers for planning studies on the Southeast Transitway.

Calgary needs $12 million to begin pre-design work for a buses-only road from downtown to southeast Calgary, which could eventually be converted to a C-Train line.

City officials expected millions of dollars from the province’s Green Transit Incentives Program, billed as a "one-time capital funding program that will support public transit in Alberta."

But while provincial officials have approved the money, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city has yet to receive a cheque. Nenshi says he was told the reluctance to release the money is due to the province’s projected $2.3- to $3-billion deficit.

The Southeast Transitway would be unlike any of Calgary's other LRT lines because it would start as a dedicated bus road in places, connecting the east end of downtown with the southeast community of Seton.

Over time, the busway would be converted to a C-Train line at a total cost of $2.6 billion by 2039.