Calgary Transit has undertaken a Transit Service Review in
order to take the existing service being provided and revise the routes in such
a way that most buses would come at least every 30 minutes, and run until at
least 11pm at night. Calgary Transit completed a major review of these routes
in order to improve efficiencies and meet customer service goals. In February
and March 2016, new bus route proposals were shared online and at open houses,
and feedback was collected from thousands of transit users and community
stakeholders. Public input was incorporated as much as possible in designing
the new routes.
The following bus
routes are changing on September 5, 2016:
Routes 8, 9, 10, 22,
122, 37/137, 43/143, 145, 404, 405, 407, 412 and 419.
The closest route that may affect Ward 6 riders is Route 412
– Bow Trail. This route services the community of Westgate, which will be part
of Ward 6 after the next election. Beginning September 5th, Route
412 will no longer provide service east of Westbrook LRT Station.
Route 412 had consistently been among Calgary Transit’s lowest
performing routes since being introduced in 2012. In the absence of our planned
changes, it was highly likely that this route would have been cut altogether.
However, as more than half of the existing daily ridership on Route 412 comes
from the portion of the route west of Westbrook, the planned changes will
improve the frequency and service span in that area.
Why was this service
The routes involved in the service review were
underperforming in terms of ridership, with many having received service cuts
in recent years. This has resulted in a lack of base service (a bus at least
every 30 minutes, 15 hours a day, 7 days a week) throughout many established
communities. The goal of the service review was to create simpler, more
frequent bus routes that run later into the evenings and on weekends, with the
limited resources available.
Why do routes 9, 10,
145, and 419 no longer go directly to downtown?
Direct bus service through downtown is relatively slow and
expensive to operate. These routes do not have high enough ridership to
continue this service while also meeting frequency and service span goals. The
savings have been reinvested in higher frequency as well as evening and late
night service in the affected communities. Alternative service is available on
the LRT, which is undergoing a significant capacity increase with the
introduction of 4-car trains. Alternative bus services are also available on
Routes 1, 4, 5, and the new Route 90.
My route seems busy
to me, so how could the ridership be low?
Routes may be busy at certain times of day, in certain
stretches, or in one direction. However, the overall ridership may still be
low. Calgary Transit conducts regular passenger counts and data from recent
years shows that ridership on these routes is too low to continue as is, so
changes had to be made.
Why not just run buses
in the peak hours in the peak direction if overall ridership is low?
Single-purpose peak buses, such as express routes, are
expensive as they spend a greater proportion of travel time out-of-service than
regular bus routes. In other words, they spend a lot of time driving to the
starting point of the route with no customers on board.
Why do some trips now
Transfer-free services are appealing for many. However, when
a bus network is overly oriented towards avoiding transfers, it results in
significant route duplication as well as slow, circuitous routes. The result is
a network with relatively low ridership, low frequency, and short service span
(do not operate into the evenings or weekends).
A transfer-based bus network allows for higher frequencies
and longer service span due to the more efficient use of bus service hours. The
higher frequencies result in shorter average transfer times.
How were the routes
The routes were designed based on four principles that
Transit Planners following for creating an optimal transit network: reduce
service duplication, increase the frequency of buses, make routes more direct,
and extend transit service on evenings and weekends.
Will the bus
schedules align well for transfers?
To the greatest extent possible, bus arrival and departure
times at major transfer points such as LRT stations will be scheduled to
minimize wait times for transfers between routes. There is also the possibility
of interlining routes at certain times of day to minimize the need to transfer.
For example, the Route A bus may turn into a Route B bus at an LRT station.
Interlining of shorter routes gives Transit greater flexibility in targeting
service for particular needs at particular times.
engagement was done for these changes?
Calgary Transit assembled a Community Consultation Team to
review the initial proposals and receive detailed feedback. This team was
composed of representatives of community associations that chose to participate
as well as major institutional stakeholders.
In addition, in February and March 2016, Calgary Transit
public, drop-in open house sessions in affected communities
“pop-up” sessions at LRT stations, the University of Calgary and SAIT
• Five seniors-specific
In February and March 2016, Calgary Transit received online
feedback from about 1,500 people. Information regarding this online survey was
provided at the open houses and pop-up sessions, through social media, on signs
at major bus stops and through on-board notices.
Did public engagement
influence the plan?
The plan was changed substantially based on the valuable
feedback we received from customers. For a route-by-route summary of the
response to feedback, visit www.algarytransit.com/2016ServiceReview.
I don’t think the new routes are better for me, so why is
Calgary Transit claiming to improve things?
Some people may not find improvements with these changes
because it’s not possible to ensure the bus network does all things for all
people. However, Calgary Transit believes the new network is an overall
improvement with bus routes that are easier to use and understand. By making
the new routes more efficient and reducing duplicated service we were able to
extend bus service on evenings/weekends and increase bus frequency, which
customers told us they wanted.
How will I know which
bus stops are changing?
Affected bus stops will have signs posted indicating future
routes or any route removals one month in advance of the changes. These signs
direct customers to the website or the Calgary Transit call centre for more
Will Calgary Transit
monitor these changes?
Calgary Transit will closely monitor the new routes in terms
of ridership, reliability and route alignment. Revisions will be made where
How can customers
submit a comment, complaint or suggestion?
Customers can submit feedback online, or by contacting the
Calgary Transit call centre at 403-262-1000.
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This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.