The “Green Line”
What is it?
The Green Line is the potential North-South LRT extension for Calgary. This new line would extend from the community of Keystone in centre north Calgary all the way to the community of Seton in the Deep South East. The line will be over 40Km long and hundreds of thousands of passengers a day.
How did the project start?
Calgary Transit established the 30 year Route Ahead plan which has functioned as Calgary’s guide on meeting our future transportation needs. The Green Line was an integral part of the Route ahead. In 2013, City Council voted to create a fund that would allow the Centre North and South East Transit Corridors to move ahead together. Once completed this will be Alberta’s largest infrastructure project to date and will connect hundreds of thousands of Calgarians to the LRT system.
How will it be funded?
It is projected that the Green Line will cost over $4.5 billion to build – a sum that will be paid by each level of Governments equally.
The Federal Government in the summer of 2015 allocated $1.53 billion towards the Green Line.
The City has also contributed $520 million towards the project, and soon will be deciding on how to fund our remaining $1.03 billion of the total project. A preferred funding model would be to take the $52 million already allocated for 10 years and extend it to 30 years, thereby bringing the City of Calgary’s funding to the $1.53 billion without having to raise taxes.
On XXXXX city council unanimously voted to have the mayor officially ask the Government of Alberta to provide the remaining 1/3 of the funding for the project.
I will continue to work with my fellow Councillors in making sure our elected MLAs know how important the Green line is in planning for Calgary’s future.
How long will the construction take?
Once all funding is secured construction on the Green Line could commence in 2017 and be completed by 2024.
What does this mean for the4 residents of Ward 4?
During construction: although measures to mitigate disruption during the construction phase of the Green Line will be employed there will be significant traffic challenges all along Centre Street.
The Downtown Core: the Green Line, updated from the current Red and Blue Lines, will mostly travel overland at street level and not require costly platform infrastructure. However, certain options for the downtown core will still have to be explored. This may include having either elevated or sub terrain tracks through Eau Claire and 10 avenue. Significant public engagement is still required on this issue.
Over the River: various Green Line options for traversing the river are still being explored. Significant public engagement will also be needed to address this area of the plan.
Through Centre Street: given the fact that the City of Calgary already has plans in place to redo Centre Street north of 16th Avenue if the Green Line receives approval the work will be done concurrently. It is important to note that station locations for the Green line have not been finalized so significant community engagement is still required.
Incorporating LRT into the Community: as with any new major infrastructure project the City of Calgary will look at ways of integrating the new system into existing communities with the goal of minimizing disruptions and enhancing the overall functionality of the area.
The next steps: over the coming months I will be hosting Town Halls meetings to gauge your feedback on how you would want the Green Line incorporated into Ward 4.
Where I Stand: I support the Green Line, and will be voting in favour of extending the $52 million over 30 years. For me it is important that this massive transit project does not increase your taxes and ensures that money that will be collected is used for a project that benefits all Calgarians and not a vocal few.
This mega project will be a defining moment for Ward 4. The Green line will completely change how Ward 4 residents move around Calgary. Currently Centre Street is the most heavily bus orientated part of Calgary, and with this project residents will be able to finally enjoy light rail transit.
How do you get involved?
First, let me know if you support the Green Line. Second, let your local MLA and MP also know that you support the Green Line. The new Provincial and Federal Governments need to hear from you that this is a project that is important to you. That way we can ensure the federal government honours their funding commitment to the Green Line and the Provincial Government steps to the funding table. You can contact your local MLA’s and MP’s here.