WebStamp July 25, 2018

Enhanced Rapid Public Transportation

Helping to enhance the public transit experience Calgary Transportation has embarked on providing 3 new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridors. Transit users will be able to travel quicker through Calgary with fewer stops and transfers. We all have seen the new bus stations being built replacing bus stops along Calgary’s major roadways and road construction upgrading. The bridge being erected across Deerfoot and the Bow is one of these projects as a BRT Lane designated for buses only.   


BRTs are basically bus routes with fewer stops at specialized bus stations making use of bus-only lanes or roadways. These bus-only corridors allow transit to move through congested traffic rapidly and reducing delays. The new station platforms have been built higher to be level with the bus floor allowing for quick and easy boarding for all, including accessibility for baby strollers, wheelchairs, and passengers with disabilities.

The city touts several benefits of the new BRT routes. Convivence with fewer stops and transfers with arrival times displayed at stations. Shorter travel times, including during rush-hour, with the use of dedicated transit lanes and bus traffic light jump queues. Transit has built larger platforms and included enhanced CCTV and lighting with heated shelters for comfort and safety. Improvement of the connections with the routes accessing major destinations along with faster trips and less transferring not being routed downtown.

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There has been some controversy about the BRT, as with most civic projects. You can’t please everyone. Additional funding for re-branding and revealing was requested and approved by the city council. The transportation plan suggests an improvement in transportation needs to include for pedestrians, cyclist, transit, and automobiles. As I watched the bus stations being built on the major route of 32 Avenue in the northeast at Rundleridge Drive, I wondered why, with the large boulevards why an additional bus bay was not added for the bus to stop in picking up passengers.

We now have a situation where the bus will stop the flow of traffic while stopping for passengers. The lack of bus bays also applies to the new stations on 52nd Street that also has boulevards. I could see the concerns that some traffic not yielding to let a bus back into the flow of traffic. Then put up signs, similar to the one on MacLeod on 25 Ave. in the SE, that says you must yield to buses. If that doesn’t work, put up a bus-controlled traffic light for the right lane.

I am sure most of the decisions are made relating to cost. We see the traffic mayhem the LRT causes on 36th Street in the NE by reducing spending. If the LRT was elevated or underground there would be a lot less traffic congestion and passengers wouldn’t have to go up, cross the tracks, and then go back down. The city should’ve added the bus bays now at a minimal added expense. Now in ten or twenty years, the will have to spend a lot more to totally replace the stations adding bus bays to accommodate the increased traffic of a growing city.

I do believe the BRT is a good solution to Calgary’s transit problems and am glad that it is being implemented. As with many civic projects, the cost is always the main denominator that determines what to implement. The city is doing a good job collecting information to build projects that accommodate the needs of most citizens, however, I feel the citizens should also be more hands-on with the design process. Once the new routes are in effect test them out and give City Council and Calgary Transit your honest opinion and ideas on improvements and their blunders.    

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Marinus (René) Verschuren
Marinus (René) Verschuren
Founder of WebStamp
René has been involved in the publishing and printing industry since the 1970s. He has published and distributed a successful 24-page weekly news advertiser with a circulation of 4400 copies. Also for the last 20 years, he has been a printer, plotter, scanner and 3D printer technician and installer. Since High School, he also has worked as a janitor, cabinet maker, building construction, landscaper/designer, computer operator producing microfiche, graphic artist, and webmaster, among many other professions. This qualifies him as a Jack-of-All-Trades with plenty of knowledge in many subjects.
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Helping to enhance the public transit experience Calgary Transportation has embarked on providing 3 new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridors. Transit users will be able to travel quicker through Calgary with fewer stops and transfers.