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Calgary LRT project receives $1.53B commitment from feds

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July 29, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

The federal government has committed $1.53 billion from the national Public Transit Fund to help build Calgary’s Green Line LRT expansion project.

“Investments in public transit are amongst the very best investments any government can make,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “They are investments in quality of life, in mobility, in social inclusion, and in the environment.” The funding is the largest single infrastructure project contribution ever made in Alberta, according to a government release.

“Building the Green Line LRT now means nearly doubling the size of Calgary’s LRT network and serving over 40 million riders a year. The federal government’s national Public Transit Fund will make a huge difference to commuters in cities across Canada.”

The Green Line will add 27 stations and an additional 40 kilometres of track to the existing 59 kilometre LRT network already running in Calgary. End-to-end, the route will connect North Pointe and Seton to downtown.

Planners still have to figure out how the line will cross the Bow River. There are three options being reviewed: attaching a bridge to the lower level of the current Centre Street Bridge; building a new, standalone crossing; or tunnelling.

Modeled after the existing CTrain system, which is 100 per cent powered by renewable wind energy, the Green Line will be an environmentally sustainable addition to the city’s transit service. It will use low-floor trains which have similar capacity to current CTrains (780 passengers/3 car train), and carry over 8 times the number of passengers of an articulated bus. 

A report on the project is due to be submitted to the city council by the end of the year, but Mayor Nenshi, who called the announcement “historic,” said construction should start in 2017.

Calgary, the fourth largest city in Canada, has a population of 1.19 million people and will increase to about 1.89 million in the next 30 years. It is estimated that the Green Line will service 41 million passengers annually. 

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