Alert | Mandatory outdoor water restrictions in effect - critical water main break affecting city-wide usage

City-wide indoor and outdoor water restrictions are in place. A fire ban is in effect. The boil water advisory has been lifted.

More information
Search Close

Green Line LRT – A key investment in Calgary’s future

Green Line LRT Calgary Investment

As published in the Calgary Herald – February 24, 2023

The Green Line LRT will deliver jobs and economic, transportation, social and environmental benefits; it will expand mobility choice and provide rapid and direct connections between communities, employment hubs and key destinations. Delivering those benefits is our responsibility and since the project received final approval in 2021, our priority has been making Green Line a reality.

Calgarians understand that world-class cities invest in projects of this scale. Investment in transit infrastructure is essential to maintaining a high quality of life, a prosperous and competitive economic advantage, and a sustainable environment. Economic trends in North America show that transit-oriented cities draw higher concentrations of technology businesses and multi-national corporations looking for high quality labour – the exact businesses that Calgary is recruiting as we diversify our economy.

In addition, throughout construction, almost 20,000 direct and indirect jobs will have been created. The economic impact of these jobs for local contractors, trades, and suppliers plus the direct investment into hundreds of Calgary businesses cannot be understated.

But Green Line is about more than jobs and the economy or overdue transit infrastructure, it is about connecting more Calgarians from across the city to where they work, live and play. Green Line is a transit system and a platform for long-term city building that, while rooted in the realities of today, is forward looking.

And while any project of this size and scope will have critics and supporters, we can probably all agree that everyone wants what is best for the city. Green Line is an investment in Calgary, for Calgarians, and we are ensuring that we get this right.

With a mandate to deliver the project, the Green Line Board is responsible for oversight of the associated benefits, costs, and risks. The Board and leadership team bring significant expertise and experience ensuring that the best decisions are made based on accurate and validated information. Since 2014, there have been nearly 120 due-diligence reviews of the project including more than 100 undertaken by external reviewers. More than eighty of these reviews were completed in the past two years, with the analyses informing the Board’s work.

With numerous milestones already achieved, 2023 is on track to be pivotal for the project with extensive utility relocation construction underway across the downtown and East Beltline, the evaluation of the Request for Proposals to select our Development Partner in progress and the completion of the review of the Light Rail Vehicle mock-up.

As we continue this important work and prepare for the Development Phase, we do so within the $5.5B set by our funding partners in 2020.

In an ever-changing economic environment, we have confidence that our thorough procurement process, the support of our funders and the abilities of our project team will deliver this valuable project.

We are also confident in the ridership estimates. An analysis of the impact of changes to ridership due to COVID-19 on the Green Line LRT business case has been available on our website since 2021. It was completed and provided to the province and considered in its review, prior to project approval.

In all ridership scenarios, the business case for investment in the Green Line remains strong. In fact, as of January 2023, Calgary is at 80% pre-pandemic ridership levels and expected to continue to grow. North of us, Edmonton recently announced it is back up to 100% of pre-pandemic ridership. Clearly people need transit now and into the future.

As important as current ridership is, Green Line is being built for Calgary’s future. Construction will ramp up in 2024 and be completed in approximately six years. This timeline coupled with the growth in Calgary’s population, fueled by record inter-provincial migration to Alberta, reinforces the long-term need for the LRT.

Green Line is part of a long-term vision for our city. Phase 1 connects to four MAX BRT routes and the Red and Blue LRT lines and builds the foundation for extensions to the north and south, as funding is made available.

With 91% of Calgarians supportive of the project, our job is to deliver it. We look forward to ongoing and continued engagement as we build for the future of Calgary. 

Don Fairbairn, Chair, Green Line Board
Darshpreet Bhatti, CEO, Green Line LRT Program