More frequent buses. Fewer stops. Dedicated bus lanes. A faster trip from southwest Calgary to the downtown, all via transit.
That’s the vision of Ward 11 Ald. Brian Pincott, who will lobby his colleagues at the Feb. 8 council meeting to support a study on the implementation of a future southwest Calgary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.
He sees the route running from downtown, through the Mount Royal University area, and travelling south on 14 Street SW to Anderson Road, servicing the communities in that area.
“We know that we have to look at southwest transportation, south of the reservoir,” said Pincott, adding that ring-road failures have made southwest corridor transportation solutions a high priority.
He said Calgarians need other options to get downtown, aside from the current bus feeder system to the LRT, and ideally that would involve the development of an expanded infrastructure — including bus-only lanes — to offer faster, more efficient service.
Chris Jordan, co-ordinator of strategic transit planning for Calgary Transit, said this type of system could operate as a standalone mass-transit corridor — without future proposed LRT — and has been identified as such in the Calgary Transportation Plan and in Plan-It Calgary.
Jordan said the route could provide service to an area similar to the southeast BRT, around 100,000 people, in the long term, but a timeline, cost and necessary infrastructure would have to be determined by the proposed study.
Pincott said this is a chance for the city to “expand its palette” and start thinking of implementing enhanced transit systems.
“We’ve got a great opportunity here to do something different,” Pincott said. “And we all know south of Glenmore needs transportation help.”