Thursday, May 11, 2017

Recommendations announced for the first stage of construction for the Green Line LRT

Today, City of Calgary Administration announced their recommendation for the first stage of construction for the Green Line LRT. Stage 1 of Green Line is recommended to extend from 16 Avenue N (Crescent Heights) to 126 Avenue S.E. (Shepard). This will be the longest LRT line ever constructed at once in Calgary’s history, and is one of the largest transit projects being planned across Canada. As we’ve done with all other previous lines in Calgary, the Green line will open in 2026 with extensions added pending further funding. 



Fast facts about Stage 1:

  • Includes construction of 20 kilometres and 14 stations, including the Centre City tunnel, and a new maintenance and storage facility, and a fleet of new low floor LRT vehicles. 
  • Projected to serve 60,000 to 65,000 Calgarians on opening day. 
  • This first stage of the Green Line is based on anticipated funding from the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments for a total of $4.65 billion. 
  • Stage 1 is projected to begin construction in 2020, pending approvals and funding, and is anticipated to open in 2026. 
  • In the 10 years leading up to opening day, Stage 1 is estimated to create over 12,000 direct construction jobs and over 8,000 supporting jobs (engineering, planning, administration, etc). 
  • An estimated additional 400 long-term operational jobs will be created to operate and maintain Stage 1. 
  • It will reduce greenhouse gases by 30,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 6,000 vehicles being taken off the road on opening day. 
  • Is the most technically complex portion of the Green Line due to the tunnel in the Centre City. Building it now creates the foundation for future extensions, which can be built station-by-station as additional funding becomes available. 
  • The full 46 km Green Line LRT from 160 Avenue N to Seton in the southeast would be built out in subsequent stages in the future. 

Planning today for the long-term Green Line LRT vision

In size and scope, the Green Line will be the single largest piece of public infrastructure that The City of Calgary has ever undertaken. The 46 kilometre line will almost double Calgary’s existing 59 kilometre LRT network, and the project tops the list of priorities for The City of Calgary.

A project as big as the Green Line LRT takes significant time, planning and resources. The City has been working in earnest on the Green Line for several years, and has carefully evaluated every component of the project, from corridor and alignment to development potential and community benefits. The City has also met with thousands of Calgarians at hundreds of events to hear perspectives that helped the Green Line evolve into the project that it is today.

Estimated costs and funding status


Early in the planning process, it was estimated that the Green Line could cost between $4.5 and $5 billion, which assumed funding contributions of $1.53 billion from each of the three levels of government. This estimate was based on per-kilometre costs of past LRT lines in Calgary, and did not include the results of public engagement, a full analysis of land requirements, or the recommendation for underground stations in the Centre City.

Through public engagement, we heard clearly that Calgarians want the Green Line to be built right the first time, which meant making an up-front investment in tunnelled infrastructure in the Centre City. Read our blog for more information on how we arrived at the fully tunnelled route in the Centre City.

The Green Line will be a long-term investment in Calgary’s future, and will be built in stages over a number of years. Discussions are currently progressing among all three levels of government to determine the overall funding for the program.

Read our blog on how Federal Funding fast tracked the Green Line LRT project.

Projects across Canada


The Green Line vision and planning that Administration will present to City Council for approval in June will then be presented to prospective Federal and Provincial funding partners. There are currently ten other major transit projects in the planning or construction stages across Canada. It is critical that The City present a smart, sustainable and forward-looking program to finalize the funding needed to make the first stage of the Green Line LRT a reality.

What happens next?


Next week, Administration will formally recommend the first stage of construction of the Green Line to City Council. The recommendation will include building the core from 16 Avenue N (Crescent Heights) to 126 Avenue S.E. (Shepard), with the intention to extend the line as funding becomes available. This staged approach has served Calgary well in the construction of both the Red and Blue LRT lines, and Administration is confident that, this staged approach will achieve the ultimate Green Line vision.

To learn more about how Administration arrived at this staging recommendation, view our FAQ or read the report to Council when it is posted later today.

Upcoming decision dates:


  • Strategic Session of Council - Monday, May 15: Council will hear the details of the staging recommendation.
  • Standing Policy Committee for Transportation and Transit (T&T) - Wednesday, June 21: Administration will present the full Green Line vision to Committee, including alignment and Transit Oriented Development plans.
  • City Council - Monday, June 26: Administration will seek approval of the full Green Line vision from City Council

Upcoming public events:


The Green Line team is holding events along the alignment to give Calgarians a sneak peak of the full vision that will be presented to Committee and Council in June. Watch your inbox and calgary.ca/GreenLine for details about events in your community.

Subscribe to our distribution list to make sure you’re getting the latest information about the Green Line LRT.

For more information, view the Green Line Stage 1 FAQ (PDF).

57 comments:

  1. This line is too long and too costly, It should stop in the Downtown or the 12 Ave SW exit by the Victoria Garage where we can build a newer garage for our trains and not have to build a new garage south in Shepard.

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    2. " It should stop in the Downtown"

      Are you mental?

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    3. calgary is expanding. Deerfoot is already too congested with traffic and you think it should stop in downtown.......

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    4. Your comment is completely ignorant to the population that lives in the north of the city. Just looking at the map can you see the vast "dead" zones this route has to run through just to reach a small population centres! That is where the cost of this project is. The north side has even population around the entire route but is left off this phase due to the cities ever present "south first" attitude.

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  2. This project was initially started as North central LRT. And it is going to end as a South LRT. City is spending millions and millions on planning and very disappointing news for the people live along North central communities.

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    1. The project will still serve both SE and North Central. Did you read this at all?

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    2. "North Central" should include up to 64 Ave N, at the very least.

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    3. North Central have to deal with upwards of 1 and a half hour commutes not to mention packed buses, being unable to board during rush hours. This plan was originally pitched as a North line that would connect some portions of the south that idea now seems to be flipped. But that's where the money is though right? always south first right?

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    4. YES. North Central Calgary got completely left out. Why do I have to pay taxes to a city that consistently ignores my neighborhood?

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  3. So much for uniting SE and north centre on this project. North has once more been bypassed like when the west LRT was built. This is going to become a big election issue in Ward 4 and Ward 3.

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    1. The North is already serviced by two LRT lines and will be serviced by a third once this project is complete. Did you read this at all?

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    2. Of course they read it - they are referring to the fact that the North is being ignored in Stage 1. Almost all of SE is being worked on in Stage 1. That's disappointing news for the North.

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    3. Well, I think the south is much in need of an additional line. That justify to start with a major portion of the south leg, and build north once additional funding is in place. As some said, there are two lines already serving the two north city quadrants and one south quadrant neglected so far.

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    4. To say that North has two lines seems like a bad excuse. It is well known that Crowchild trail has had humongous problems with traffic. Building C-train to the north would relieve the problem, atleast by a bit. The map itself shows how many more community would be served if the LRT is built on each side. Maybe cut service at Ogden and extend service till Mcknight? The current proposal is just unacceptable

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    5. A self-inflicted problem made by the city is that they want to build the maintenance facility at Shepard, a staggering 16-18 km SE of downtown Calgary. Which means they have to build 75-80% of the SE LRT first, and leaves no money to build north at all. I wouldn't be surprised that they end up cutting the 16th Avenue Station later on to cover costs overrun.

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  4. How is the north getting hard done by? This looks like a great project. For both sections of the city

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  5. The North doesn't need another LRT access. We only have 1 LRT connected close to a hospital and it's not Foothills. Thought for sure we would have access to another hospital. They should just extend junction from ne on memorial and 36 st to go south to new hospital.

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    1. North central has zero LRT access. It is sandwiched by nose hill on oneside and deerfoot/airport on the other.

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  6. So much planning and gone nowhere in the last 20 years since I have heard about this unicorn of a project.Wonder how much of that planning budget could have been spent on getting some progress?

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  7. The south east has become a huge hub for young families! About time they were presented a real transit option. Can't wait to see this one become a reality! (It's only a shame we decided to expand towards Westhills first. Still not sure how that line took priority.)

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  8. Sure this recommendation isn't ideal for North Calgary, but we are still well served by buses. The SE needs the LRT more. Build it first.

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  9. Glad to see this is going through, I'm very pleased with the plan to tunnel underground downtown. I realize a tunnel is synonymous with a larger cost, but believe it will be worth it for future generations of Calgarians; excellent forward thinking.

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  10. Way to stick it to not just the north but the entire city, this is a farse. Can't believe the south needs yet another line and the north is getting by passed. The fact that connecting the airport is not a top priority is a joke. This is a real disappointment and basically counts us out of an Olympic bid if we go down that route. Have you been to Toronto or Vancouver lately, trains servicing the airport (Up and Skytrain respectively) are now required in my opinion. It could not be easier to get downtown as a traveler in these cities. Calgary is going to be decades behind based on this decision. At least build as far north to make an airport connector a possibility (connector meaning a rail track NOT buses). If its a bus route I, along with many other, would not utilize this.

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    1. There is no line in the SE on calgary and bus routes are horrible but i do agree with you about the train to the airport.

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    2. all the city of the rich is in the south end of the city

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    3. The south currently has 1 line while the north has 2. I agree that there needs to be a connection to the airport, but at the expense of ignoring the entire south half of the city?

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  11. We badly need a line to the airport. Every credible city has one. Are the taxi companies holding this back?

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    1. I question if the LRT went to the airport would anybody use it. We have an airport bus to downtown via Centre Street and hardly anybody travels on it either way. I notice there are only 1-4 people on the bus at any time. I live on 96 Ave and used it once to come from the airport and the fare was around $10. So if a family is going downtown then a taxi would be cheaper and faster than the bus.

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  12. While I have no problem with what is serviced here, I do have a problem with what isn't, which is the airport. World class cities, even smaller ones like Copenhagen, have trains between the airport and the city centre. Calgary has the 4th busiest airport in Canada and everyone has to take a bus or a cab when they get here.

    Madness.

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    1. I agree, I'm from Calgary and this city can be ass backwards. We desperately need a c-train to the airport.

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  13. Only up to 16th Ave N? This is extremely disappointing. When will we see the Airport connected with LRT? 2117?

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    1. I really enjoyed the Mile Hike at Heathrow on my way to the Metro while carrying my 3 peice luggage.I really enjoyed all those stops along the way to my Hotel .Next time i will take a taxi or shuttle bus.
      Not everyone travels with carry on.Airport better served by BUS & Taxi.Unless you still using your Knapsack for travel.

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  14. Considering people in Ogden don't want it, the people in the north van have it. We're getting a tunnel built under our houses and we didn't get informed before 2 years ago that this was happening. Destroying peoples houses so they can build the line and getting tools it'll be easier access so you can get to work, don't mayer that you have to move, just means you will not have a house to live in after this is built. So N Calgary, you can have the LRT all you want we don't want it!!!!

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    1. What do you mean? It's not going to destroy people's homes. Every major city has tunnelled portions and I've never heard of any of them destroying a home. You won't know it's there.

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    2. Tunnelled transit does not destroy homes. All major cities have underground portions of their transportation systems. You are worrying about nothing. You won't even know it's there. Your comment is completely false.

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  15. Northwest gets shafted again. Looks like I'll be moving south in the near future.

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    1. Move to the south if you want, but expect buses that only run every half hour and 30 min commute to a train that will still take 30 to 40 min to get you to your destination. For me to take transit from ny home to my place of work on 17th ave sw, it takes me an hour and 45 minutes. A train to the deep se would save about 45 minutes

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  16. They should have one started from saddletowne on 80ave connecting savana, sky point, sky view, airport, country hills Blvd, Panaroma, sage hill, beacon hill to Tuscany, that way we don't have disturb centre street.

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  17. There is a greater population from the North that requires access to commute central (downtown) on a daily basis as compared to South East where much of these communities would be commuting to industrial locations within 5-10km of their residence where buses would better serve this area. Currently, there is a significant cost to route buses North to Central where a North train would significantly reduce the number of buses required which could then be repurposed to better aid and benefit south commuters. Aswell, we should be considering our growing North Airdrie neighbor that is also creating congestion to our North roads on a daily basis and our friends from Edmonton that regularly visit and bring revenue to Calgary.

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  18. There is a greater population from the North that requires access to commute central (downtown) on a daily basis as compared to South East where much of these communities would be commuting to industrial locations within 5-10km of their residence where buses would better serve this area. Currently, there is a significant cost to route buses North to Central where a North train would significantly reduce the number of buses required which could then be repurposed to better aid and benefit south commuters. Aswell, we should be considering our growing North Airdrie neighbor that is also creating congestion to our North roads on a daily basis and our friends from Edmonton that regularly visit and bring revenue to Calgary.

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  19. how long did it take to approve this? this was suppose to be a north project. 16th ave is hardly north. 2026 for completion? people needed this 10 years ago which further proves Calgary is a big city with small town problems.

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  20. Calgary looks ridiculous we are so old fashioned, no easy way to the airport, bus service only started going there a few years ago. It's actually embarrassing at this point.

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  21. How generous of the city council to spend, what will surely total $10 billion in the end, OF THEIR OWN MONEY, on this boondoggle. Why extend the existing line when you can simply build a redundant one for several times the price?

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  22. The question I have is whether the Green line should go South through residential areas or across through Forest Lawn and down 52nd Street to service the industries in the Foothill area. That would provide the poorer areas of our city with easy transit to work areas.

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  23. I'm guessing everyone commenting here drives lol

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  24. I also think the train should go thru industrial area in foothills. There is only one bus that goes thru there and it's hard to get to if you don't drive. Would make more sense to go down through that way and then down south. Leave from somewhere like Marlborough. Just my opinion.

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  25. Meh. It goes to places I never go so its useless for me.

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  26. this project is so wonderful, the government have good vision for the near future.If you are regular passenger you should know why should built this huge project.Think first before complaining more access more success.

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  27. Hmm. ..the north vs, the south. I smell a civil war.

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  28. "The 46 kilometre line will almost double Calgary’s existing 59 kilometre LRT network". This doesn't make any sense. How can 46 km be nearly double 59 km??

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    1. The way the sentence is phrased, it is intended to mean that adding 46 kilometres to the existing 59 kilometres will make it 105 kilometres total, which is nearly double that of the current state (59 doubled is 118 kilometres).

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    2. The way you intended and the way it's phrased are two entirely different things. But this doesn't surprise me in the least, considering who wrote it.

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  29. To those people saying the North already has 2 lines:
    - One of those lines are at 36th Street EAST, which is VERY far east in Calgary
    - The other of those lines goes WEST along Crowchild Trail, which is not very far north at all
    - The North Central area of Calgary has NO train service anywhere at all. We have been promised for MANY YEARS that we would get a train running up Center Street North.
    - Currently, we have BUS service, sure, but when I took the bus downtown, even a half empty bus would routinely pass by the stop without stopping, merely because a few people were standing near the front of it. The bus service running up and down this area SUCKS.

    You'd think that a city's first priorities would be to service the communities filled with people, particularly communities located close to the middle, but no. City council seem to think that all train lines should be run where there are no people.

    The whole point of trains is to get people using transit instead of cars, yet the city keeps building stations that are near nothing, and putting in parking lots, so if people need a car to get to a train anyway, they may as well just drive everywhere!

    We need to send our city council some maps of London, or othet cities that actually have usable trains!

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  30. The citizens of Winnipeg must think we Calgarians are very spoiled.

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  31. It appears the city has been swayed by the big corporations in downtown. The corporations didn't want to be upset with the construction and noise from a line built on the surface and therefore the costs have increased in order to build a tunnel instead. The funding for the entire project was promised by the federal and provincial govts together with the city. It was quoted at $4.6 billion. Now Phase 1 is going to cost that much and there is no guarantee that any more money will be available for the rest. So the north communities(central) have no assurances this will happen.When election time rolls around there could be some changes up here in the north, especially Ward 4 and also the mayor's office.

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