For university students, Calgary Transit’s new service hours could mean cramming in another 10 minutes of late-night studying instead of waiting for the No. 20 bus.
The extra 55,000 hours of transit service approved last week in the city budget for 2014 also translate into eight fewer minutes that commuters have to wait for the popular No.1 on a frosty winter afternoon.
Riders should also benefit from plans to add more bus-rapid transit runs on the No. 301 north and No. 306 Westbrook routes, as well as extended service in areas like Rocky Ridge and Copperfield.
Adeem Khan admits catching the bus can be a pain.
“Especially late at night, it’s bad,” said Khan, who takes Route No. 20 five days a week to classes at the University of Calgary and also hops aboard the No. 1 from time-to-time to get downtown. “During the day there are more buses, but at night there’s less frequency.”
Those changes are just some outlined in a complete breakdown of the boosted hours provided to Calgary city councillors and obtained by Metro.
Route No. 1 will see increased bus frequency duringweekdays, as will Route No. 36 and No. 41, while Route No.19 will see improvements both then and on weekends.
“It’s a combination of service to new communities that virtually had no service before and increasing service on routes that are being heavily used and overloaded,” explained transit’s planning manager Neil McKendrick.
Ward. 12 Coun. Shane Keating was pleased his southeast suburbs will see adjustments to Routes No. 92, 151 and 153.
Keating also highlighted it’s a boost in ridership that’s covering the tab.
“It’s paying for itself,” said city council’s transit chairman, adding he’d like to see the money keep flowing back into service if Calgary Transit continues to rake in profits.
The transit system predicts it’ll haul in $11 million more than expected next year.
In Copperfield, community association President Leslie Paron welcomed word of plans to bump up coverage and frequency in 2014.
Paron’s community will see an extended route run through east Copperfield and see delays between buses shaved to 30 minutes from 35.
“There’s huge need,” she said Sunday. “Currently, there’s only a bus route in off of McIvor (Boulevard). There’s another development in Copperfield in its final stages of over 300 homes ― more transit is required.”
The systemwide increase also sees another 10,000 Access Calgary rides added to contend with a surging demand for the service for persons with disabilities.
The additional hours cover 44 per cent of what’s recommended in Calgary Transit’s 30-year blueprint that was approved in March 2013.
More than 100 million riders used Calgary Transit in 2012.