City officials unveiled the concept plans for the future Southeast and West LRT lines on Thursday.
“Our team is planning new LRT lines that are completely different from what Edmontonians are used to,” said Bob Boutilier, general manager of transportation for the city.
The lines, which will use new low-floor vehicles, will be a part of one long, 27-stop route spanning from Lewis Estates to Downtown to Mill Woods Town Centre.
There will be a downtown connector station where passengers may disembark from the new “urban-type” line and transfer onto the existing “suburban-style” Clairview-Century Park line.
He added the city knows it needs to get moving on the next phase of this design project right away.
Details of the downtown surface line are to be announced in early December. The routes were planned to hit key activity centers throughout town, while 100,000 additional daily boardings are expected along the joined lines, a trek across which is estimated at around 50 minutes, 25 minutes from downtown, both ways.
NAIT student Nigel Ethan is excited for the two planned LRT lines, and the third one is already slated to reach his campus by 2014. He grew up in Mill Woods and recently moved to an apartment near the Century Park station.
“Had these lines been around sooner, it would have helped me to discover the city,” he said. “I would have loved to have done my holiday shopping at West Edmonton Mall and then been able to go home to Mill Woods without once having to get out of my seat.”