Calgary Transit
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Calgary Transit
Calgary Transit
Calgary Transit wordmark.png
Slogan'1884 - 1894 Onward!' (Not primary slogan)
ParentCity of Calgary,
Transportation Dept.
Founded1909 in its current form, 1884 to 1894 for the original Calgary Transit system.
Service areaCalgary, Alberta
Service typeBus and light rail
Stations(LRT only) 10 on the NE leg, 9 on the NW leg, 6 on the SW leg, 11 on the South Leg and 9 downtown. Route 201 has 28 stops. Route 202 has 25 stops.
Fleet965 buses
160 light rail vehicles[1]
Annual ridership107.5 mil (2013)[2]
Fuel typeDiesel for Bus, Electric (600 vdc) for LRT
DirectorDoug Morgan[3]
WebsiteOfficial site

Calgary Transit is the public transit service which is owned and operated by the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2015, an estimated 110 million passengers boarded approximately 1,176 Calgary Transit vehicles.[4]


This 1947 image shows an older streetcar vehicle passing one of the new electric trolleybuses that replaced all the streetcars.

What would eventually become Calgary Transit began as the Calgary Street Railway [5] on July 5, 1909,[6] with twelve electric streetcars serving what was at the time a city of 30,000.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] This streetcar service expanded throughout the next thirty years (including the Depression) until 1946, when the company was renamed to Calgary Transit System as electric trolleybus vehicles began replacing the local streetcars. Eventually the electric trolley lines were phased out together -- to be replaced by diesel buses. In 1972, CTS assumed its current name of Calgary Transit.

Between the early 1970s and 2000, Calgary Transit had a three tier bus service. Standard bus routes were identified with white bus stop signs. Blue Arrow bus routes, marked by blue signs, provided limited stops, and all day service to suburban neighborhoods from the city centre. Express service was indicated with red signs and provided extremely limited bus service to the far reaches of the city during peak hours only. These tiers have been slowly phased out, since Calgary Transit began expanding CTrain lines and capacity and implementing BRT service.

In 2012 Calgary Transit planners presented mayor Naheed Nenshi's council with a tentative 30-year plan 'RouteAhead' to enhance the capacities of Calgary Transit.[14][15]

On December 13, 2012 Craig Hardy, became the one hundred millionth rider of the year, a record never reached in its 103-year history. He received free transit for a year and was celebrated by mayor Nenshi.[16][17]

The CTrain

Calgary Light Rail System Map
A CTrain at Crowfoot station
Train in new red and white livery arriving at Anderson station

On May 25, 1981, Calgary Transit became one of the first transit systems in North America (behind Edmonton LRT which opened in 1978) to operate a light rail system -- the CTrain, on which construction had begun in 1978. The original line (referred to internally as the Red Line, and externally as Route 201) ran from Anderson station (just north of Anderson Road in the south end of the city) to 8th St SW in Downtown Calgary.

On April 27, 1985, a northeastern-bound line (Blue Line/Route 202) was opened, running from 8th St SW to Whitehorn station (just south of the intersection of McKnight Boulevard and 36th Street in the northeastern quadrant of the city), and on September 4, 1987, a northwestern-bound line (C-Line / part of Route 201) was opened in time for the 1988 Winter Olympics, running from downtown to University station (directly east of the University of Calgary campus, between 24th and 32nd Avenue on Crowchild Trail).

On September 3, 1990, a 1 km extension of the northwest line to Brentwood station (south of Brisebois Drive on Crowchild Trail) was opened; on October 9, 2001 two new stations -- Canyon Meadows station (north of Canyon Meadows Drive and west of Macleod Trail) and Fish Creek-Lacombe station (south of Bannister Road and west of Macleod Trail) were added to the south line; on December 15, 2003, Dalhousie station (south of 53rd Street in the median of Crowchild Trail) was added to the northwestern line.

On June 28, 2004, two new stations for the south line opened: Shawnessy station (south of a brand new interchange at Macleod Trail and Shawnessy Boulevard) and Somerset-Bridlewood station (south of 162nd Avenue and just north of Shawville Gate).

On December 17, 2007, an extension was made to the Route 202 northeast line (first extension ever on the history of the line) from Whitehorn to the new McKnight-Westwinds station.;

On June 15, 2009, Crowfoot station was added on the northwest line located directly west of Crowfoot Town Centre in the median of Crowchild Trail.

On August 27, 2012, Martindale and Saddletowne stations was added to the northeast line, making the total of stations on this line to 10.[18]

On December 10, 2012, the West LRT opened, with six new stations and Downtown West-Kerby station in downtown.[19][20] Since it is Calgary's newest LRT line in 25 years, it is an extension of Route 202 (Blue Line). After this opening, the CTrain system total length is now 56.2 kilometres (34.9 mi) long.

Future extensions include the North Central line and the Southeast line (together running as the Green Line) running from North Pointe Bus Terminal, down Centre Street, through downtown, into the communities of Ogden, Douglasdale and McKenzie in the southeastern portion of the city, finally ending at the South Health Campus in Seton.[21]

On July 18, 2007, Calgary Transit officially unveiled a new red and white livery for its CTrain, Articulated Busses and every new bus or train coming into the system.

On August 27, 2008, a train en route to the Somerset station collided with a construction crane in between the Dalhousie and Brentwood stations. Six were injured in the accident, including one child.[22]

On February 18, 2009 Calgary Transit celebrated the 1,000,000,000th rider, randomly selecting a passenger, Shelly Xiao during a ceremony at the 1 Street SW CTrain station.[23]


Articulated bus

On August 30, 2004, Calgary Transit opened a bus rapid transit line to operate future CTrain routes (the D-Line and an as-yet unplanned northbound line), using conventional buses until articulated buses entered service on June 25, 2007. The BRT system consisted of a single route, Route 301, serving the northern and western parts of the city. A subsequent route, Route 305, was added in 2008, serving the Bowness and 17th Avenue East corridors. A third route, Route 302, entered service on August 31, 2009, along a proposed southeast LRT corridor.[24]

The BRT is considered to be the successor to the Blue Arrow service introduced to the 1970s: both were a series of limited-stop routes that were to be intended to be replaced by LRT service in the future -- however, the Blue Arrow service was never a true BRT (limited stop service, stopping at designated blue bus stop signs, was its only distinctive feature), the modern BRT includes priority at traffic signals, enhanced passenger waiting areas and offers a shorter travel time to the downtown with greater capacity articulated buses. The Blue Arrow name all but disappeared in 2000 in order to unify all bus stops under one common scheme, but certain Blue Arrow routes are still in service to this day. In fact, Route 305 replaces a Blue Arrow route (Route 105).

As of July 27, 2011, the BRT route 300 provides a direct link to the Calgary International Airport.[25] This line was introduced after Calgary's Mayor promised to make the airport more accessible via public transit.[26]

On March 12, 2012, BRT service was cut significantly in Calgary. The 302 now run with shuttle buses, during off peak hours and weekends. The 305 does not run on weekends at all. These are both due to low ridership.

On December 10, 2012, the BRT route 306 started. This route runs between Westbrook, past MRU, past Rockyview Hospital, then ending at Heritage Station.

Bus routes

Current service and fleet

A Calgary Transit Nova Bus LFS 40102 model, new livery, on Route 20

Calgary Transit operates 155 bus routes using 1,155 vehicles[4]. All buses are low floor and wheelchair accessible.[27] The light rail vehicle (LRV) fleet includes the system's original Siemens-Duewag U2 cars, 110 Siemens SD-160s, and 63 Siemens S200s. Calgary Transit's 72 original style SD160s were delivered in three orders between 2000 and 2007 and have all since been retrofitted with Air Conditioning and the newer red and white livery.[28][29][30] In June 2010, 38 new restyled Siemens SD160s, featuring factory equipped AC and various cosmetic and technical changes over the previous series, began to arrive.[31] In January 2016, the first of 63 Siemens S200 cars began arriving which entered service in July 2016.[32]

The CTrain system along with several mainline bus routes provide the backbone of the system while many feeder bus routes and express services act to complement this backbone service. Service frequency on the CTrain and busier bus routes is typically from 5-30 minutes with operating hours of about 4 am - 3 am. Most feeder bus routes run at 15-45 minute intervals with similar operating hours on most routes and reduced on others. In addition there are many rush hour only services, some are feeder routes and some are express routes, these usually run 10-30 minutes apart.


Calgary Transit currently operates as a single fare zone, with a flat rate fare for all standard service including bus, BRT, and the CTrain. As of January 2018, a single adult fare is $3.30, or $2.30 for youth. Books of 10 tickets are available at par to 10 fares. Monthly passes are also available, with youth passes for $70.00, and adult passes for $103. Seniors (65 and over) pay $135 for a yearly pass which is valid from July 1 to June 30 of the following year and which entitles them to travel at any time. Service on Christmas Day is free of charge. Starting New Year's Eve 2014, extended service until 3:00 a.m. on the CTrain and select bus routes requires regular fare. In order to transfer from one transit vehicle to another, proof of fare from the CTrain, or a transfer from a bus is required. A transfer or proof of fare is valid for 90 minutes from the time of issue, for any transit service (including stopovers).

In cooperation with many of the post-secondary schools located in the city, a Universal Pass (U-Pass) program is offered to all students, paid as part of their tuition.

Fare Type Price[33]
Cash Fare or Adult Single Ticket (Valid for 90 Minutes) $3.30
Youth Cash Fare or Youth Single Ticket (Valid for 90 Minutes) $2.30
Children Under 5 (with fare-paying customer) Free
Book of 10 Adult regular Tickets $33.00
Book of 10 Youth Tickets $23.00
Day Regular Adult Pass $10.50
Day Youth Pass $7.50
Monthly Pass (Adult Regular) $103.00
Youth Monthly Pass $70.00
Monthly Pass (Low-income, sliding scale) $5-50[34]
Senior Citizen(65 years & over) Annual Pass (Regular Rate) $135.00
Senior Citizen (65 years & over) Annual Pass, (Reduced Rate) Sliding Scale[35]
UPass - ACAD,[36]Mount Royal,[37]SAIT,[38]St. Mary's[39] $125.00
UPass - University of Calgary (Full-time students only) $130.00[40]

Connect Card

The "Connect Card" is the name of Calgary Transit's proposed electronic fare smart-card. After two years of work and after installing smart-card readers on every bus and at all CTrain stations that were supposed to start working in the summer of 2012, Calgary Transit cancelled the deal with its contractor, Spain-headquartered Telvent. The City of Calgary announced on November 8, 2012 that crews will remove the new smart-card machines out of all Calgary Transit 1,000 city buses and 160 LRT pay machines after repeated glitches and delays.[41] About one year later, the City then announced that they would relaunch the initiative, again with Telvent as the provider. In June 2015, the City of Calgary decided to scrap the Connect Card project and attempt to recover costs from Schneider Electric (formerly Telvent).[42]


There are five major Calgary Transit facilities to store and maintain the transit fleet, as well as run several operations departments to keep the system running:[43]

  • Spring Gardens Administrative Building/Garage: Conventional bus storage, administration, machine shop, body shop, heavy duty diesel mechanical shop, bus operator training, maintenance and equipment training
  • Victoria Park Garage: Conventional, articulated and shuttle bus storage, body shop, call centre, heavy duty mechanical shop, bus and rail operations control centre, protective services
  • Anderson Garage: Conventional bus storage, LRV storage, LRV light/heavy duty maintenance, bus/LRV body shop, machine shop, heavy duty diesel mechanical shop, LRV operator training, maintenance and equipment training
  • Haysboro LRV Storage Site: LRV storage
  • Oliver Bowen Maintenance Centre: LRV storage, LRV light/heavy duty maintenance, machine shop


Formed in the 1980s as Special Constables under the Police Act of Alberta, Special Constables had most authorities given to regular Police Constables. In 2008, the new Peace Officer Act replaced the old Police Act. Officers were then renamed as Peace Officers under this Act and given full Peace Officer powers in the Province of Alberta with certain exceptions.

Commuter Rail

Calgary Transit briefly experimented with a commuter train in 1996. The service consisted of a single line, running from a platform at 162 Avenue SW (present-day Somerset-Bridlewood station) to Anderson station(then the terminus of the South Line), where commuters could transfer to the CTrain network. Running every 20 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours, the free service carried an average of just over 800 people per day. The city didn't lay any new track, but ran the trains on the CPR freight line running alongside the South Line's tracks. Siemens RegioSprinter diesel multiple units were used as the rolling stock.[44] With a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour, the train could cover the roughly 7 kilometres in a matter of minutes. The city ultimately decided not to implement permanent commuter rail. The CTrain system was later extended along the same corridor, with more stations and regular service.

In recent years, transit planners and some politicians have discussed adding commuter service to Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Strathmore and other nearby cities and towns, but no firm plans have been made.[45]


  1. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Statistics for 2017 - Calgary Transit".
  2. ^ About CT - Statistics Archived 2009-11-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Doug Morgan to Lead Calgary Transit". City of Calgary (website). March 30, 2012. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b Transit, Calgary. "Statistics | Calgary Transit". Retrieved .
  5. ^ Jennings, A. Owen (1911). Merchants and manufacturers record of Calgary. Calgary: Jennings Publishing Company. p. 28.
  6. ^ Ward, Tom (1975). Cowtown : an album of early Calgary. Calgary: City of Calgary Electric System, McClelland and Stewart West. p. 234. ISBN 0-7712-1012-4.
  7. ^ Robert M. Stamp (2004). Suburban Modern: Postwar Dreams in Calgary. TouchWood Editions. pp. 50, 54. ISBN 9781894898256. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Colin K. Hatcher (1975). "Stampede City Streetcars: The Story of the Calgary Municipal Railway". Railfare. ISBN 9780919130258. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Colin Hatcher, Tom Schwarzkopf (2010). "Calgary's electric transit: an illustrated history of electrified public transportation in Canada's oil capital : streetcars, trolley buses, and light rail vehicles". Railfare DC Books. ISBN 9781897190562. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Maxwell Foran (2008). "Icon, Brand, Myth: The Calgary Stampede". Athabasca University Press. ISBN 9781897425053. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Donald B. Smith (2005). Calgary's Grand Story: The Making of a Prairie Metropolis from the Viewpoint of Two Heritage Buildings. University of Calgary Press. p. 86. ISBN 9781552381748. Retrieved . On 5 July 1909, the City of Calgary inaugurated its street railway system just in time for the Alberta Fair. The corner of 8th Avenue and 1st Street West became the focal point of streetcar convergence, and subsequently the centre of retail activity. Streetcars operated under newly-erected overhead wiring from the convergence to the fair grounds at Victoria Park, and soon elsewhere in the city as well. New trackage proceeded at a rapid pace and soon additional lines were built throughout the downtown area and then expanded to residential areas to the east, west and south.
  12. ^ Wendy Bryden (2011). "The First Stampede of Flores LaDue: The True Love Story of Florence and Guy Weadick and the Beginning of the Calgary Stampede". Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781451609349. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Charles E. Reasons (1984). "Stampede City: power and politics in the West". Between the Lines. ISBN 9780919946460. Retrieved . Foran points out that while poorer residential areas were given streetcar routes (to get workers to the job), they lacked full utility services or building restrictions. Two such communities, Bowness and Forest Lawn, were outside the city limits but part of urban Calgary.
  14. ^ " - The Star - Canada's largest daily".
  15. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Long-Term Strategic Plans - Calgary Transit".
  16. ^ Calgary Transit's 100 millionth rider of 2012 celebration on YouTube
  17. ^ Stark, ,Erika. "Calgary Transit surpasses 100 million riders a year for first time (with video)".
  18. ^ Saddletowne and Martindale Rider's Guide Archived 2012-08-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ West LRT Infographic on YouTube
  20. ^ Take a ride from 69 Street station to Sunalta station on YouTube
  21. ^ "Plans and Projects - Green Line". Calgary Transit. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved .
  23. ^ CTrain Carries its One Billionth Customer Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Southeast BRT Rider's Guide Archived 2009-12-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-02. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved .
  27. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Accessible Buses and CTrains - Calgary Transit".
  28. ^ "C-Train Siemens-Duewag SD160".
  29. ^ "C-Train Siemens-Duewag SD160".
  30. ^ "C-Train Siemens-Duewag SD160".
  31. ^ "Calgary Sun". Calgary Sun.
  32. ^ "C-Train Siemens S200".
  33. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Fares & Passes - Calgary Transit".
  34. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Low Income Monthly Pass - Calgary Transit".
  35. ^ Transit, Calgary. "Low-Income Seniors Yearly Pass | Calgary Transit". Retrieved .
  36. ^ Calgary Transit Universal Pass Program Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ "UPass FAQ". Mount Royal University. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "ID Cards and Universal Transit Pass (FAQ)". SAIT. Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "U-Pass FAQs". St. Mary's University College. Retrieved .
  40. ^ "UPass". Unicard | University of Calgary. 2013-05-10. Retrieved .
  41. ^[dead link]
  42. ^ Stark, Erika; Sylvester, Erin (June 30, 2015). "Updated: Calgary Transit cancels Connect card, vows legal action to recover money". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2015.
  43. ^ Transit, Calgary. "About Calgary Transit - Calgary Transit".
  44. ^ "Siemens Regio Sprinter Calgary Transit".
  45. ^,%2008.pdf Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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