When the new Dalhousie LRT station opens it will affect buses in and around the U of C at a critical time for students: exam time.
After 13 years, the Northwest LRT is finally getting the extension many commuters have been waiting for. On Mon., Dec. 15, Dalhousie Station opens, becoming the new terminus of the Northwest LRT line. Massive changes in the transit service structure in the area will take place, as Brentwood Station will see most of its feeder buses diverted to Dalhousie.
"It will shift the focus from Brentwood to Dalhousie, which will reduce overall transit travel time and add 725 parking spots at Brentwood Station," said Calgary Transit Communications Coordinator Ron Collins.
Most bus routes through campus will remain the same. However, the 9 Bridgeland/Varsity will now run through West Campus, and some routes that stop on eastbound 32 Ave. near the ICT building will no longer stop there after Dalhousie's opening.
Routes originating in communities west of Nose Hill Drive, such as the 199 Citadel, 299 Arbour Lake, 421 Tuscany and 426 Rocky Ridge will continue to travel to Brentwood. All other routes, such as the 37/43/137/143 Northwest Loop, 54 Edgemont, 76 Hawkwood and 77 Edgemont will now terminate at Dalhousie.
Other changes include the conversion of the 22 Dalhousie and the 54 Edgemont into loop routes (the 22/122 Dalhousie/Varsity and 54/154 Edgevalley/Hamptons), the 10 Market Mall ending at Dalhousie Station instead of Market Mall, and the introduction of new routes 8 Montgomery and 95 Market Mall, the latter connecting Brentwood and Dalhousie.
"It will be good for the University of Calgary, and it will cut down on travel time, with additional trains." added Collins.
To help riders with the new system, Riders' Guides were sent to all homes in affected northwest communities. However, university staff is ensuring students are aware of these changes before exams start.
Noel Foggo-Lamoureux, chief exam schedule maker at the Registrar's Office has been talking with Calgary Transit and believes these changes will be minimal.
If students are late, they are still allowed to enter exams up to 30 minutes after the test has started. Emergencies will be decided on a case-by-case basis. While the university has contingency plans in the event of emergencies, it is still students' responsibility to be informed.
While Calgary Transit is confident about the new extension and the changes in the feeder bus system, there is mixed reaction.
"I think [the changes] should be pretty good, since more people will take the bus or the train," described Meni Singh, a transit operator.
However, students and other campus visitors are not as happy about these changes.
"I'd rather have [the buses] go to the U of C," commented Jerry Dang, a second-year Mechanical Engineering major.
Others agreed with Dang's sentiment.
"It's going to be a problem, since it's going to take longer," added Paul Dickinson, fifth-year Computer Science/Math major.
"It makes it harder to go home [from campus]," added U of C Swim Club member Mike Downey.
Visit www.calgarytransit.com for information or call Calgary Transit Customer Service at 262–1000.