So What Is The Green Line?
Calgary Transit has established their 30 year Route Ahead plan which is a strategic guide for operations and investment and will help plan for future capital projects. Up until recently, there were two major projects competing for attention and funding separately, the North Central LRT and the SETWAY/South East LRT.
In November 2013, Calgary City Council voted to create a dedicated fund that would allow the North Central and South East Transit Corridors to move ahead under a combined program. This program will include the Downtown region and the North Central and South East Transit Corridors. The combined corridors are now known as the Green Line.
The Green Line
Key points about the Green Line:
- 270,000 Calgarians currently live and work along the corridor.
- The Downtown Core represents 25% of the total number of jobs in Calgary
- The Green Line will eventually bring 40 kms of new LRT track to the existing 53 kms of track…nearly doubling the size of the network.
- The Green Line will greatly expand the rapid transit service into and out of Calgary’s Centre City.
- The Green Line will serve three new major employment hubs in Calgary: Quarry Park, Seton and Aurora Business Park
- The Green Line will serve many of the planned community development and intensification opportunities in Calgary.
Green Line Project Status
Green Line SE
- Project is currently envisioned as 3 stages:
- Stage 1 – Construction of Transitway: 4th Street SE to Douglas Glen. A significant portion of Stage 1 is to be funded through City Council’s decision to commit $52 Million of funding room to the project over the next ten years however additional funds to complete the project are yet to be secured. Stage 1 construction is estimated to be complete by 2021.
- Stage 2 – Construction of LRT from Downtown to Quarry Park. (20 year time horizon)
- Stage 3 – Construction of LRT from Quarry Park to Seton. (30 year time horizon)
- 80-85% of the land for the Right of Way has been acquired by the City of Calgary.
- 90% of infrastructure for the transitway in Stage 1 can be reused for LRT conversion.
- The bulk of construction activity for Stage 1 of the Green Line SE will begin in Fall 2017. In the interim, the Green Line SE project team has undertaken a review of the exisiting BRT Route 302 corridor to determine where small investments can be made to improve the customer expereince. As a result, several “early works” projects have been identified and will be implemented between now and 2017 thanks to the $520 million Green Line Fund. These “early works” projects are as follows:
- Widen 52nd Street SE from 130th Avenue to Stoney Trail from four to six lanes to implement transit-only lanes.
- Relocate bus routes from Deerfoot Trail SE to 114 Avenue SE using 40th Street SE plus 530 metres of new roadway.
- Widen 130th Avenue SE from 48th Street SE to 52nd Street SE from four to six lanes to implement transit-only lanes.
- Widen Ogden Road SE from Millican Road to 69th Avenue SE from two to four lanes to provide two transit-only curb lanes (this project will be reviewed against alternative alignment options prior to proceeding).
- Construct transit queue jumps at various locations.
- Reprioritize signals and install transit signal priorities at various locations.
- As part of the Green Line SE Corridor Review, there are three segments of the corridor where changes have been proposed for the original alignment option. The initial community consultation for the alignment options took place over the course of March, 2015 and a final alignment recommendation will be made to Calgary City Council before the end of 2015. Information on further community consultation opportunities will be made available on the official project website at www.calgary.ca/greenline.
The three areas up for review are as follows:
- Two new videos have been created to provide a better prospective of the Green Line SE. One video provides a quick fly-over of the Green Line SE and the second video provides a more in-depth look of what the Green Line SE will mean for Calgarians. Check them out!
Green Line SE Fly-Over Video
Video Courtesy of the City of Calgary
Green Line SE In-depth Overview
Video courtesy of Cllr. Shane Keating: http://shanekeating.ca/the-issues/setway-green-line-lrt/
Green Line N
- Current daily ridership along the corridor is 35,000 weekday riders. This is slightly higher than the current daily ridership of the West LRT.
- This project is planned to be phased in a similar fashion to the South East Corridor. Funding has been set aside for transitway improvements and is estimated to be complete by 2021. LRT construction is dependent on funding but will most likely occur in the 20 to 30 year time horizon.
- Over the last few years, a comprehensive alignment study has been underway for the Green Line N. The alignment study has been broken down into two sections:
This alignment study is currently underway and a final recommendation is expected to be made to the City of Calgary’s Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit by December, 2015. Opportunities for community engagement will exist later in 2015 and will be posted on the official project website at www.calgary.ca/greenline. Five different alignment options will be studied for this section of the Green Line. It is important to note that the current travel time for the BRT service between North Pointe and Downtown is 40 minutes meaning that no matter what option is selected, there will be a measurable improvement in travel times. One of the five options, Option A1 was recently introduced for study by Councillors and as a result, no design information has been released. Option A1 is a proposal to have the LRT remain on the surface of Centre Street between 16th Ave N and the Centre Street Bridge (similar to Option A) however a new bridge structure would then be created next to the Centre Street Bridge to connect the LRT to 2nd Street SW around Eau Claire.
|Construction Cost Estimate for Centre City Segment (10 Ave S to 24 Ave N)||Construction Cost Estimate for Full Green Line North Project (10 Ave S to North Pointe)||Travel Time Estimate (10 Ave S to North Pointe)|
|Option A*: use the existing Centre Street bridge||$600 Million||$1.1 Billion||33-35 minutes|
|Option B: new bridge west of Centre Street bridge||$800 Million||$1.3 Billion||30-32 minutes|
|Option C: new bridge west of Centre Street bridge, remain elevated||$800 Million||$1.3 Billion||30-32 minutes|
|Option D: tunnel from 24 Ave N to 10 Ave S||$1.3 Billion||$1.8 Billion||28-30 minutes|
|*Option A1 was recently introduced by Councillors and therefore no cost estimates are available|
Green Line Transitway
Although the Green Line will eventually take the form of LRT, limited funding has prompted the City of Calgary to introduce an intermediate step to the project that will transition the corridor from the existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service and LRT. This intermediate step is called the Green Line Transitway.
A transitway involves the construction of a transit right-of-way that can be either separate from traffic or dedicated lanes used by transit vehicles and includes the construction of stations.
- Because a transitway does not require tracks or traction power, construction of a transitway is significantly cheaper than LRT.
- Transitways have been put to use in cities such as Ottawa, Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area as cost effective alternatives to LRT.
- Around 90% of infrastructure for the transitway can be reused for LRT conversion.
Several of the key advantages to the Green Line Transitway are as follows:
- Allows for improved travel times and an improved customer experience along the Green Line Corridor.
- Build ridership along the Green Line Corridor beyond what is possible with regular BRT service
- Allows the City of Calgary to construct LRT ready infrastructure (such as bridges and station areas) that will reduce the cost of LRT conversion in the future.
- Creates permanent high level transit infrastructure along the Green Line Corridor that will help stimulate community investment and redevelopment.
Explore the Green Line
Explore the Green Line using the interactive map or explore the Green Line in detail