RouteAhead plan to go to City Council

Calgary may be looking at a new transit system in the future. The RouteAhead plan was approved by six out of the 10 members present at the standing policy committee on Transportation and Transit meeting on Feb. 20.

RouteAhead is a long-term strategic plan to better Calgary’s public transit system over the next 30 years that consists of two phases.

The first phase involves public engagement in determining the needs of customers and citizens.

The second phase will look at how to implement the plan while focusing on customer experience, the transit network and financing the project.

For:Against:

B. Pincott
D. Colley-Urquhart
D. Farrell
G. Lowe
G. MacLeod
J. Mar

A. Chabot
P. Demong
S. Keating

Peter Schryvers, a member of the advocacy group TransitCamp Calgary and an urban planner with consulting company CityTrend, said the group is in strong support of the RouteAhead plan.

“The recommendations of phase one and two are appropriate,” he said.
Schryvers further suggested that the plan look further at network design to compare the proposed routes with existing ones and make sure there are no misconnections between the routes.


RouteAhead is a long-term strategic plan to better Calgary’s public transit system over the next 30 years.

Photo by Arielle BerzeHe proposed the plan look at increasing opportunities for routes with high ridership, such as Route 3, which runs from Sandstone to Heritage, as well as adding bus-only lanes downtown to decrease congestion.

Ward 4 Ald. Gael MacLeod added “There’s great bus service (in the north), but there’s no room. One after another goes flying by.”

Ward 11 Ald. Brian Pincott said a follow-up study on downtown would be needed to address whether bus-only routes should be an option. Pincott also agreed with TransitCamp’s

The plan wishes to achieve:

  • Integrating transit in areas with higher traffic and ridership
  • Integrated transit with urban life and businesses
  • Incorporate new technologies and innovations such as fuel efficiency
  • Sustain the transit fleets and infrastructure
  • Make transit a convenient and comfortable travel alternative via a “Primary Transit Network,” a frequent, highly connected and integrated network

concerns about limited stop service on high usage routes, saying that there was already a high demand for these in south Calgary.

However, there was debate regarding which routes should be prioritized in regards to congestions and land use, such as the number of businesses on a particular route.

Ward 14 Ald. Peter Demong was concerned with the scoring criteria determining which routes were the most congested, while Ward 10 Ald. Andre Chabot questioned why Centre Street was prioritized in regards to land use over such areas as 17th Ave.

The RouteAhead Plan will be presented to City Council Mar. 4, 2013.

 aberze@cjournal.ca