Aldermen propose plan for S.E. LRT

‘We have to make sure that we start beginning steps to that’

Four aldermen representing Calgary’s transit-starved southeast are proposing a “fourth option” to lay the foundation for the long-awaited LRT extension.

The Southeast Transit Way pitched by Shane Keating Andre Chabot Peter Demong and Gian Carlo-Carra would see the first instalment of the provincial Green Trip fund used to acquire land for the southeast LRT line and rapid bus routes.

Their plan would use $128 million of the initial $225.6 million to buy land with remaining funds for a study and a pre-design to improve the express bus route from Forest Lawn to Bowness and to buy 20 new light rail cars.

In contrast city administration proposes using $200 million of the first instalment to buy 50 light rail cars and make small improvements to rapid transit routes.

But Keating says administration’s report which supports the southeast LRT line “in principle” is vague and more pro-active measures need to be taken.

The 26-kilometre extension is estimated to cost from $2 billion to $3 billion.

“The southeast has been promised an LRT or mass transit in the last number of years and it has never come to reality” Keating says. “We have to make sure that we start beginning steps to that.”