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The City of Calgary is launching Max Yellow this December. This will be the fourth entry into the City’s BRT system, and will serve over 48 communities in the South West. Ward 4 already has one of these BRT with the Max Orange (North Crosstown). All of these BRTs funnel Calgarians into the LRT system, and with the future Green Line will make the transit system of Calgary even better.

MAX is a fast, reliable bus rapid transit service achieved through infrastructure improvements such as dedicated bus lanes, transitways and transit priority at traffic signals (queue jumps, signal priority). It is a cost-effective and flexible approach to providing a high quality rapid transit service, at a lower construction cost than Light Rail Transit. MAX routes have fewer stops than regular bus routes, allowing customers to travel farther in a shorter amount of time while still directly connecting to major destinations.

The MAX lines connect to our current and future LRT network, as well as to universities, recreation facilities, hospitals, and employment centres across the city. Dedicated bus only lanes, queue jumps, and signal light priority allow MAX to bypass heavily congested areas, significantly improving the customer experience and making it an appealing option for Calgarians currently relying on private vehicles to get around.

The City has invested $304 million in the MAX network, which launched its first three routes on November 19, 2018 – MAX Purple (17 Avenue S.E.), MAX Orange (North Crosstown), and MAX Teal (South Crosstown).

The Southwest MAX route, MAX Yellow, begins service December 23, 2019. MAX Yellow will provide a rapid transit connection between Woodbine and downtown, with stops at major destinations including Southland Leisure Centre, Heritage Park, Mount Royal University, Marda Loop and Rockyview Hospital.


Will all construction activities be completed by launch day?

Although the full MAX Yellow route will be in service as of December 23, construction of the station at northbound Crowchild Trail and 17 Avenue S.W. will continue in 2020. Buses will continue to service a temporary stop at this location until the station is complete. Crews will be back in the spring of 2020 to complete the landscaping work, as well as some minor asphalt and concrete work along the route.

What is the projected ridership for MAX?

The four routes will provide enhanced level of service to 79 communities made up of over 400,000 people. Ridership on these BRT routes is expected to grow to over 30,000 passenger trips per day by 2024.

How many Calgarians and customers will experience changes to their local bus routes as a result of MAX Yellow and the associated route changes?

Local routes that support MAX Yellow serve over 33,000 passenger trips per day across 48 communities.

What are the advantages of MAX?

MAX is a cost-effective infrastructure investment that provides an enhanced transit service to support the needs of Calgary Transit customers, Calgary Transit’s Customer Commitment, and One Calgary citizen and business engagement (reliability, safety, value for money/quality, convenience):

  1. Convenience – fewer stops, signal priority, queue jumps, dedicated lanes, next bus arrival time displays.
  • Travel Time and reliability – use of Transit Priority infrastructure gets customers to destinations faster and more reliably.
  • Comfort and safety – enhanced CCTV, enhanced lighting, heated shelters, larger platforms.
  • Connections – access to more major destinations, fewer transfers to get to final destinations.

What is the capital budget for the MAX rapid transit network?

The approved capital budget for the MAX network was $304 million.

What is the annual operating budget for MAX?

The annual operating budget for the four MAX lines is $18.5M, with $4.5M allocated to MAX Yellow. The operating budget includes service hours as well as infrastructure maintenance costs (e.g. Snow and Ice Control, power, regular maintenance).

Of the total annual operating cost, $10.5M (57 per cent) is being funded through generating efficiencies and reinvesting service hours within Calgary Transit’s existing budget. The remaining $8M was approved as part of our One Calgary submissions for 2019-2022.

As part of the budget adjustments and Transit Service Review processes, we refined the operating budget based on further efficiencies and commitments made to the public through the engagement process. Approximately $1.5M has been reduced from Calgary Transit’s operating budget for MAX and other growth service as a result, and returned through the 2019 budget reductions.

When will the route changes and MAX Yellow service start?

Crews are on schedule to complete the construction of infrastructure for MAX Yellow by the end of November. Route changes and MAX Yellow service will begin December 23, 2019

The City will begin promotion for MAX Yellow and the route changes the week of November 12. Promotion will include print and digital advertising, and face-to-face sessions with existing and potential transit customers. Promotion and customer information will also take place in January 2020 as commuting patterns return to normal after the holiday period.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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