More northwest Calgary communities getting base bus service
Base routes will get residents to CTrain stations, but will have fewer stops
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Although they pay taxes, and put pants on one leg at a time, that’s not enough to run a bus through all newly-developed neighbourhoods.
Which is the case for northwest Calgary neighbourhoods like Nolan Hill – a part of town Calgary Transit told Metro in 2016 is underserved.
But according to Coun. Joe Magliocca, these communities can expect to catch an express bus as soon as March to nearby train stations. This means residents who currently circle CTrain stations for parking before riding downtown can leave their cars in the drive and walk to a bus stop before transferring to a train.
“I’m working really hard,” said Magliocca. “I’m getting a couple express buses on peak hours … to go directly to LRT stations, either Crowfoot or Dalhousie.”
Northwest resident Venugopal Kesavan is frustrated with the lack of transit in his community. He’s lived in Nolan Hill for two years, and has seen friends in newer communities than his own have bus access.
“They’re saying there’s not enough funds to build the transit service,” Kesavan said. “We’re not getting the service that we’re paying for.”
To get to work he drives from Nolan Hill and parks in Sherwood before catching a bus and then riding the train to the core. The trip can take him 80 minutes to get to work – using three different modes of transportation.
Last year, transit was only serving 60 per cent of communities with a “base transit service” and at the time, it looked as though the transit system wouldn’t be able to up routes in new communities until 2018.
Although a community has more than 500 residents, that may not be enough to squeeze a bus stop on every corner.
“We always try to cut, cut, cut, keep the property taxes low,” said Magliocca. “Every time we roll out a new bus service it costs us literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because we need buses, operators and all of that – we’re working on it.”