High-speed buses moving people in a grid network outside of downtown forms the backbone of the next major expansion of Calgary Transit.
That’s according to Chris Jordan, project manager of RouteAhead, a group tasked with developing a 30-year vision for transit growth in the city and set to deliver its final draft plan to aldermen on Friday.
The detailed document, comprising hundreds of pages, will then be addressed Wednesday at the city’s transportation and transit committee.
After the west LRT opens on Monday, Jordan said the next steps in transit growth should reflect an “evolution of service” that expands beyond downtown commuting and creates “more of a grid network connecting some of the big trip generators outside the downtown – like the universities, hospitals and so on.”
To accomplish that, Jordan said the plan suggests lengthening bus-only lanes, adding more transit priority signals, and allowing off-board fare payment to cut down on queues and enable people to board buses at multiple doors, similar to C-Train boarding.
“Based on the funding available and the need to speed up existing bus service, those are the best investments we can make in the short-term,” Jordan said.
Ald. Richard Pootmans, a RouteAhead steering committee member, said the time has come to expand transit thinking beyond moving people to and from downtown.
“One of the exciting parts about RouteAhead is the notion that we’re now going to start to connect the major employers beyond the hub-and-spoke system that we have now,” he said.
Route Ahead plans:
- The plan was developed based on feedback from Calgarians, including more than 4,000 face-to-face meetings, RouteAhead project manager Chris Jordan said.
- Members of the public can share their thoughts on RouteAhead’s final draft plan at the committee meeting on Dec. 12, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in the basement of Old City Hall.