Yes! Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT, from Shepard to Eau Claire, is approved and moving forward. The project was reviewed, approved, and funded by the City of Calgary, Province of Alberta and the Federal Government in 2021.
The Green Line spans 18 kilometers from Shepard Station at 130 Ave S.E. to Eau Claire at the north end of downtown. With 13 stations, it provides connections to the Red and Blue LRT lines and three MAX rapid transit routes.
Phase 1 of the Green Line is expected to have up to 55,000 daily riders and attract up to 18,000 new transit riders.
Transit users on the corridor will save an average of 10 minutes per trip – equivalent to approximately 10,000 hours per day for Green Line LRT customers. Riders using the Green Line from the southeast into the downtown core could save up to 25 minutes as compared to existing bus service.
Drivers using Deerfoot Trail or other major roads could save up to 10% of their commute time due to reductions in road congestion.
Led by experience and expertise, our Green Line team is made up of professionals with demonstrated backgrounds in delivering multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects, and an independent Board of Directors to make sure every decision is the right decision.
The construction schedule will be determined through our Development Phase, which began in May 2023. During this time, we are working with our Development Partner, Bow Transit Connectors, to develop the project schedule, advance the design, and negotiate risks and price. Once the Project Agreement is signed in 2024, the schedule will be shared.
Main construction of Phase 1, Shepard to Eau Claire, is on track to begin in 2024. Based on other projects of similar size and scale, it should take approximately six years to complete construction. The schedule will be confirmed during the Development Phase, prior to us signing the Project Agreement.
Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT is the largest infrastructure investment in our city’s history. This is a megaproject and requires the construction of stations, tracks, a tunnel under downtown Calgary, multiple bridges and elevated guideways, a maintenance and storage facility for Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), Park and Ride facilities and much more.
It is helpful to compare the scale and timeline to other LRT projects in Calgary:
The first leg of Calgary’s LRT system spanned 12.5 km from Anderson to Downtown with 16 stations and took four years to construct.
The West LRT expansion from Downtown to 69 Street Station included 8.2 km of track, six stations, and took three years to construct.
Bow Transit Connectors (BTC) was announced as Green Line’s Development Partner in May 2023. BTC brings shared expertise in underground, above-ground structures, and LRT design and construction to deliver Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT Project.
During the Development Phase, BTC is advancing design while the project cost, schedule and risk allocation are negotiated, prior to signing the Project Agreement in 2024 and beginning main construction. Their teams will be supported with local contractors, suppliers, and trades.
Our early works program, currently underway, is being performed by PCL Construction, the third-party utilities (ENMAX, Telus, etc.) and Graham Construction.
Green Line has developeda Business Support Program with a team on-the-ground to keep businesses informed and help them prepare for the impacts of nearby construction. The best way business owners can connect with us and stay informed is to register your business with us.
Some examples of how we support businesses include:
Direct communication to provide updates on construction and planned disruptions.
Ensuring safe access to businesses is maintained as regularly as possible, throughout construction.
Developing specific initiatives to promote and encourage Calgarians to support businesses, including coordinating with other City programs such as the Seasonal Public Patio program and developing Green Line wayfinding, detour and “businesses open during construction” signage.
Building safe transit infrastructure and providing safe Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) are our top priorities. Visit our station safety and LRV safety pages for more information.
Once Green Line is open it will be operated by Calgary Transit. The City of Calgary is committed to improving safety and security on Calgary’s transit system. The Transit Public Safety page outlines steps being taken to improve transit safety and weekly snapshots of transit safety incidents.
The City is focused on increasing staff, including Peace Officers, outreach teams and security guards, and making improvements to station lighting and surveillance. In May 2023, they also released a report on the potential of implementing a “closed system.”
Low-floor LRVs are now the preferred choice for new LRT systems across North America because they offer improved accessibility, enhanced vehicle and pedestrian safety, and the ability to integrate easily into the community.
With low-floor LRVs, train stations at street-level don’t need long ramps, stairs, or large platform structures. The low platforms are curb height (33 cm compared to 98 cm for high-floor trains), which allow for simpler station designs, resulting in cost savings when building the stations.
The Urbos 100 low-floor LRVs for Green Line are intended to operate exclusively on this line. Due to their low-floor design, they will not be compatible with the existing transit infrastructure on the Red and Blue Lines as station platforms are too high. There are also fundamental differences with the existing electrical network that would prevent the Green Line LRVs from running on the Red and Blue Lines.
In 2019 it was determined that the best option was to build an LRT bridge over the Bow River, connecting Eau Claire station to Crescent Heights. City Council approved this plan in 2020. However, this work is outside the scope of Phase 1 construction.
There are plans for an Airport Transit Connector that would connect both the Green Line and Blue Line to the airport. Visit our Future Stages page for more information.
In July 2023, the City of Calgary announced that a study will be conducted to identify the optimal rail connection and alignment between downtown Calgary and the airport. The study will also include a ridership review, and development and evaluation of different alignment scenarios. For more information, visit the Airport Transit Study page.