After years of delays, the Green Line LRT project has been greenlit — and Calgarians have mixed feelings about it.
During a visit to Calgary earlier in July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Green Line LRT project would finally be moving ahead.. It is currently set for phase one, which goes from Shepard S.E. to 16 Avenue N, with the second phase not yet funded.
The city says that with the inclusion of the Green Line to the public transit system, travel times will be drastically reduced going to and from the inner city. As well, the project aims to support the economy.
The Green Line LRT is a large investment in the future of Calgary and aims to shape the southeast and northern sections of the city, while producing 12,000 direct jobs and 8,000 supporting jobs during the construction and maintenance of the project, said Sandra Sweet, a spokesperson for the City of Calgary.
“The Green Line LRT is a city-shaping project that will improve mobility in north and south east Calgary, that connects people and places, and will enhance the quality of life of all Calgarians,” Sweet said.
A survey conducted by the city indicated 90 per cent of those asked believe the Green Line LRT is important to the future of Calgary. Those reached by the Calgary Journal through Instagram, however, have differing opinions surrounding the relevancy of the Green Line LRT project.
Some say connecting the city and making it more accessible is a good thing while others say expanding the city is also important in the growth of Calgary.
“It was always such a hassle when I couldn’t drive,” said Casie Latta, who grew up in the city’s southeast.
Busing from Mckenzie to Somerset would take an hour just to get to the nearest train station — it was an entire operation, she said.
“The Green Line LRT is great. We need trains in the south east.”
Olivia Hendsbee, who frequently uses the train system, says that public transit is important for the growth of the city, as well it helps the environment.
“Everyone driving cars around isn’t sustainable — our highways already get pretty congested,” Hendsbee said.
Others are less convinced of its usefulness. Some are concerned over the price it will cost the city to build it.
The project already has $4.9 billion in commitments from the federal and provincial governments and the City of Calgary.
“We can probably buy everyone in Calgary a Toyota for the price of the Green Line,” said Davis Cooper, who lives in the northwest.