On April 20th, next Wednesday, a report is coming to the Transit and Transportation committee with an update on the BRT Program across the city. You can find the full report by clicking on this link.
The alternative of either doing nothing or to expand our existing roadways is neither acceptable nor sustainable. In some cases, roadway expansion demands the expropriation of homes. In order to attract better services and jobs to our communities, we need to invest in infrastructure that is more inclusive and the best possible allocation of taxpayers’ dollars. Investment in public transit provides a service to those who use it, in the form of transportation options, and those who don’t, in the form of less traffic. Everyone benefits from improved transit, which is why cities invest in it.
The BRT Program
The BRT Program, technically referred to as “Program 566”, includes the SW BRT, and is one of four BRT projects that the city is working on. Together, these routes connect the four corners of our city to our LRT lines, to our educational institutions, to our downtown core, and to important services and cultural attractions. The BRT Program offers a fast and reliable service between communities and activity centres. Think about an LRT level of service that can be accomplished with a bus. Please see the attached Primary Transit Network map.
The SW Transitway BRTThe SW BRT will bring an increased level of transit to residents along the SW corridor, who currently don’t have access to a baseline level of service. Please see the attached Transit Service Coverage map. We must support young families moving back to our inner communities, and assist seniors who choose to retire in them. Currie Barracks will attract an additional 14,000 people to live and work along the SW Corridor in the very near future. New communities south of Fish Creek Park will add more vehicle traffic to 14thStreet, even with the addition of the South West Ring Road. For both new and existing residents in Ward 11, the provision of multi-modal, multi-rider transportation networks is paramount. The SW BRT is very important for the future quality of life in Ward 11, and I fully support it.
While I fully support this project, it does not mean I believe it shouldn’t be conducted prudently. In learning through the report that the updated cost estimate for the SW Transitway BRT is higher than the original estimate set out in the 2010 functional study, we need to understand how a significant change could occur, even though the cost escalation can be accommodated in the overall budget for the BRT Program. We require an explanation for the cost escalation and how it may impact the other routes; we need a detailed understanding of the phasing and timing for this project; we need to understand how work on this project is being coordinated with ATCO; and, we need to understand the interaction of this project with commercial and residential developments that are coming forward in the SW Corridor. We will work with administration to ensure that these questions are answered at the Transit and Transportation Committee meeting on April 20th.
Councillor, Ward 11
The City of Calgary403-268-5056 (Office)403-268-8091 (Fax)
Mail Code: 8001A
Haysboro Community Association
1204 89th Avenue SW. Calgary, AB. T2V 0W4.