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West LRT One Year Review

Calgary’s Transit 2013 ridership has grown by 5.5 million, totalling 107.5 million passengers, which makes Calgary fourth behind Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in terms of Transit Ridership.The West LRT project added 8.2 km of double track, six new stations and a number of improvements for connecting pedestrian, cycling and vehicle infrastructure. This portion of the LRT line now serves 32,400 customers each weekday (as of fall 2013).
New connections to activity centres throughout West Calgary including Westbrook, Westhills, Westside Recreation Centre and Mount Royal University. Of the 32,400 West LRT riders, 12 per cent are new, reducing 6,200 auto trips each day in West Calgary.  



Calgary Transit Funding & RouteAhead – Moving Forward

With the RouteAhead approved by Council in 2013, a blueprint is in place for Calgary Transit for the next 30 years. This plan places a target measure of 3.7 hours of service per capita vs 2.36 today.

The target requires an increase of 125,000 hours of new service every year, which would allow more frequent stops, longer hours of service and provide service to new areas. For the RouteAhead initiative Calgary Transit strives for a 50% to 55% revenue/cost ratio – i.e. at least 50% of costs must be supported by revenue (fares + other). Currently, revenue/cast ratio is 53% = fares (49%) + advertising-parking-fines (4%) + taxes (47%). Calgary Transit is currently meeting the revenue/cost ratio target, but the cost of providing service is increasing faster than revenues – labour, materials, fuel, growing service area. There is also a significant number of customers who receive discount fares; 39% of customers pay an average of 21% of the cost of the trip. For Calgary Transit to maintain a 50% to 55% revenue/cost ratio and increase hours of service per capita to 3.7 hours, a net annual funding increase of approximately $10 million.

More Calgary Transit Graphs

Suggested Approach


Calgary Transit believes that a future funding philosophy should be based on a combination of the following principals:
1. Increase the potential for transit revenue to support the approved revenue/cost ratio – a combination of the following actions:
a. Move toward increasing the price of selected fares to better align fare discounts
b. Move towards an income based criteria for setting fare discounts
c. Increase revenue from other existing sources of revenue – advertising, parking, special services (e.g. airport, charters)
d. Maintain consistent fare discounting and pricing structure that reflects customer needs and supports the revenue/cost target.
2. Pursue longer term opportunities to
a. Utilize the Connect Card to offer fares that will increase the convenience of paying fares, more closely meet customer travel needs, attract new customers and generate higher levels of revenue, plus offer additional business opportunities
b. Secure additional funding for transit service from other sources including other levels of government

Current Fare Themes versus Proposed Fare Structure

Next steps
The Calgary Transit team will conduct a public engagement for the “funding philosophy”. This will be your chance to provide feed back on our suggested approach. Once the public engagement is completed, Calgary Transit will complete the report in June, 2014, with a recommended fare structure plan for Action Plan 2015 to 2018.


Comparison of fares with nine Canadian cities

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.

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