According to the Calgary Transit 20 Year Capital Plan released in November 2003, a West LRT Line from 10th Street West to Westbrook Mall was to start construction in 2020 with an opening date of 2023. Extending the line beyond Westbrook was not in that 20 year plan.
The Plan was revised in February 2004, and the extension through to 69th Street SW was to start construction in 2014 and be completed in 2018. The line was not funded and would cost an estimated $260 million. New LRVs and rapidly escalating construction costs have now pushed the price tag to over $600 million.
In 2006, Mayor Dave Bronconnier mused about starting construction on the West LRT line even earlier in 2008 after Crowfoot is complete. However, with a new provincial Premier (Stelmach) who wasn't concerned with Calgary's growth issues at the time, funding was uncertain.
In September 2007, after a struggle between the City and the Province, a new funding agreement for municipalities (Municipal Sustainability Initative) was agreed to. The West LRT proved to be the top issue in the Municipal Election in October 2007. With a new City Council in place, money from the Province and a hot-button issue in the public's mind, the West LRT project could now be realized. Funding is now in place, and the project has been green-lighted.
For other information regarding the West LRT Project please refer to the West LRT Website
Calgary Transit started a "Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)" service (Route 301) as an interim measure. The route follows the future alignment from the City Centre to 69th Street SW. The route continues from the City Centre to the North of the city. This route has proven very popular and service has been increased from only peak hour service to all-day and Weekend service. The service was setup with existing buses and is running with the new 60-foot articulated buses that arrived a few years ago.
Future Bus Services:
|West LRT Connecting Bus Routes|
Maps and Designs:
|June 2008 City Council Approved Alignment|