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Ward 8 News: Green Line in The Beltline - Stage 1

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Ward 8 official website
Green Line
This past week I was taking the #6 bus to get into work and I noticed how everyone on the bus came from different walks of life. It got me thinking about how transit is something that connects all of us and all of our neighbourhoods. Now, since the introduction of the Low Income Transit Pass, transit is accessible for nearly every Calgarian. For those who live in Ward 8, 22.5% of residents choose to take the LRT or bus to get to work, that’s 6% higher than the City-wide transit average of 16.43%! As our city continues to grow and change, we need to think about the future and how we can best serve Calgarians. I've always believed that a city is always made better when it has more affordable, convinient and environmentally thoughtful methods of transportation.

Looking backwards a bit, in 2010, the City introduced the functional planning studies for the Green Line and after seven years of hard work, massive amounts of community engagement and thoughtful debate we now have a plan for Stage 1 of construction. While the Green Line largely serves communities in the South East and North, there is a vital connection that occurs through the Beltline. After a significant amount of engagement, feedback and discussion I’m excited that the Green Line will be going underground through the core of our City.

The tunnel in the Centre City offers the best opportunities for future generations of Calgarians. It allows us to maintain the pedestrian, cycling and vehicle connections in the core, while enabling future development to take place unhindered in our city’s economic centre. The City evaluated a number of options with the cost varying from $1.5B (street level) to $1.95B (fully tunnelled). All options evaluated in the downtown core required some length of underground tunnel in order to connect with the existing Red and Blue LRT lines. The fact is that it would not be possible to connect with these lines with a street-level system due to technical challenges with operating three intersecting LRT lines in addition to the existing road network, and the requirement to be under or over Canadian Pacific Railway’s main line. This option also reduces that potential impacts to Prince’s Island Park and the Bow River valley and was highly supported by residents and businesses in the area.

To summarize things easily, Stage 1 of the Green Line will:

  •  Provide travel options to 191,000 existing jobs in planned station areas.
  •  Jobs in the Stage 1 station areas are expected to increase to 225,000 jobs in the long-term (30+ years).
  • In the 10 years leading up to opening day, Stage 1 of the project is estimated to create over 12,000 direct construction jobs and over 8,000 supporting jobs (engineering, planning, administration, etc). This creation of jobs is in addition to the operating jobs for opening day of service.
  • Reduce greenhouse gases by 30,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 6,000 vehicles being taken off the road on opening day.
  • Connect over 2,300 existing affordable housing units within walking distance of the planned Stage 1 station areas.

With the Standing Policy Committee on Transit & Transportation supporting Administration's recommendations, we will now move forward to the report being presented to Council in June.


 
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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