Shane Keating will push for new LRT line

With the prospect of increased federal funding, Ward 12 councillor Shane Keating wants council to consider skipping a proposed busway and start on the Green Line LRT.

Councillor wants to bypass the busway and head straight into rail construction

Shane Keating will propose skipping the busway and building the Green Line to council on Monday. (CBC)

Skip the busway and build the LRT.

That's the message Ward 12 councillor Shane Keating hopes will register with the rest of council on Monday as he pushes his proposal for train service from the north to the southeast.

The current plan is to ease into the train line by building a dedicated bus route that will eventually be laid with track for the proposed Green Line, stretching from the city's northern limits to the South Health Campus on the opposite municipal edge.

With the possibility of increased federal funding announced in the most recent budget, Keating says now might be the time to invest in the project, which could cost up to $5 billion.

The City of Calgary has released a video illustrating the concept of the Green Line Southeast Transitway. 4:34

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says it's worth investigating. 

"If we can get the money, it's certainly something that we should look at. It's certainly a better level of service," said Nenshi. 

"There is however also an operational issue and that is: will enough people use it to justify that enormous cost? And we're pretty sure that enough people will use it right up front on the north portion of the Green Line because people are already really using transit, but the south portion will need time to grow."

The city has already set aside more than half a billion dollars for the Green Line — and planning for the initial stages is already underway.