Transit Woes

Anyone who drives Calgary’s roads in the morning is packed onto the train like a sardine for a twice daily commute, or is left stranded when their bus stops running at 10 p.m. knows transit is a top issue with Calgarians.

Accordingly, it’s the number one issue for incumbent mayor Dave Bronconnier.

As Calgary’s booming economy generates more and more growth, it is impossible for road and transit development to keep up with the outward expansion of the city–let alone maintain existing transit and roadways. This rapid expansion leaves the city millions of dollars (and years) behind in infrastructure developments.

Premier Ralph Klien’s provincial government recently announced funding of $3 billion for infrastructure in the province, with Calgary’s share sitting at about $1 billion.

Bronconnier is more than ready to get his hands on the money with promises of expanding public transit including extending the C-Train line to the north west and north east, adding more train cars, buses, and extending hours of operation. He’s also promising more overpasses to accommodate the heavy volume of commuter traffic into the downtown core.

If Calgary continues to grow–and it will–the provincial grant will hardly make a dent in Calgary’s traffic woes. There is no easy solution to the problem and it will continue as the major issue for subsequent mayors and aldermen for years to come.

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