Candidates across Calgary say southeast rapid transit tops the list of needs
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Southeast rapid transit was by far the most common answer among candidates running for city council when asked about Calgary’s most pressing transit need.
Eleven of the 40 candidates who responded to a TransitCamp YYC survey cited either southeast LRT or bus rapid transit in response to that question, including candidates who live at the opposite end of the city.
“I have friends who live in the southeast and whenever I go and visit them, going down Deerfoot always takes much longer than expected,” said Bernie Dowhan, who lives in Ward 2 and is running to represent the northern area on council.
“Not only do I wish to represent Ward 2, I also wish to represent the City of Calgary as a whole,” Dowhan said. “The southeast LRT is definitely the most pressing need, and the north-central transit line would be right behind it.”
Ward 14 candidate Shawn Kao said he’s not surprised candidates in other parts of the city highlighted the need for transit infrastructure in his area.
“People do know,” he said. “When you go down south, there is a pressing need. You see it.”
But incumbent Ward 7 candidate Druh Farrell, who has supported north-central bus rapid transit as a top priority for the city’s next major investment, said the need is great in both that area and the southeast, but the cost of developing to the southeast remains prohibitive.
Farrell cited a recent cost-benefit analysis that ranked the estimated $120-million north-central bus rapid transit line as best use of taxpayer dollars and the $642-million southeast transitway several spots further down the list.
“Hopefully evidence-based decision making will come into play,” she said.
Here is a summary of the candidates' responses: