Ward 4 residents have been let down
For years, Centre Street was the top priority in the city for rapid transit upgrades. Its strong ridership and population density made it a higher priority than any BRT project and much higher than the Southeast Transitway.
Unfortunately, our current Councillor did not adequately support the Green Line to keep it prioritized for our communities. He did not keep up with events as the Centre Street Transitway became the combined North-Southeast Green Line project. This past May it was reduced to just a Southeast Green Line project, stopping short of reaching any Ward 4 community.
Concept drawing of the Green Line on Centre Street N.
The next phase of the Green Line must be built in communities with the highest ridership
If Calgary must focus our limited amount of capital funding available for expanding rapid transit, we must prioritize building the next phase where it will serve the most people and provide the greatest return on investment. In the case of the Green Line, that means northward to Ward 4 - where density and ridership is greatest. There will be strong pressure again to split the next phase between the North and the Southeast but the decision must be driven by data and economics, which both favour the north.
Concept drawing of the Green Line at 64 Avenue N.
Centre Street can be built sooner by leveraging partnerships with local developers
From Highland Park to North Pointe, Centre Street is on the cusp of considerable redevelopment. It’s important we promote good, sensible development and rapid transit is instrumental to achieving that end. That’s why we must look to partnerships with local developers whose projects’ success will depend on an efficient transportation corridor along Centre Street. If new developments stand to benefit from this, there is potential for partnerships to help fund the next phase of the Green Line through our communities sooner.
Concept drawing of the 28 Ave N Green Line station by the City of Calgary.
Airport Link: We must work with higher levels of government to connect the Green Line to the Airport
Calgary’s new $2.6 billion airport terminal and runway are barely a year old and it’s clearer than ever that there’s a missing link in our rapid transit network. A Green Line running up Centre Street brings Calgary that much closer to an Airport Link. If we are to support the full potential of our airport as an important economic driver in the local economy we have to make getting to and from there easier. While our airport is self-funding for new upgrades, there’s a strong case to be made for our provincial and federal governments to share in bringing the Green Line closer to the airport. That means getting Centre Street built sooner, especially as far North as 96th Avenue.
The North Pointe Station at 96 Ave is planned for an Airport Train link but timing for the Green Line north is now uncertain leaving this rapid transit connection in limbo.
The task of building the next phase of the Green Line north requires an effective advocate
Communities in Ward 4 have the highest density and bus service is already at capacity. More than ever, we need an informed advocate to champion our communities so that investments in the next phase of the Green Line are used to build north where there’s benefit to the greatest number of Calgarians.
Pressure will continue to build future phases of the Green Line further South, even before we build North. We need an advocate who will make the case for us, in the North.
We also need to ensure our City Council is working to hard to find the funding needed to complete the project. This means building partnerships with private industry and other levels of government. Given the incumbent’s record, we can’t afford to risk losing another opportunity to build the Green Line North that might not come again for decades.