The construction phase is in progress for the new North Crosstown Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that will link the Saddletowne station in northeast Calgary to Brentwood station in northwest.
With the majority of the route running along 16 Avenue North, the new BRT will provide a more reliable and direct service for Calgary Transit users, including those who attend SAIT.
The North Crosstown BRT will be completed in time for the service to launch in late 2018.
Emma Stevens, a communication strategist for the City of Calgary’s Transportation Infrastructure, said that the project is part of a new BRT network that will consisgt of four pieces – the 17 Avenue S.E. BRT, the Southwest BRT, the South Crosstown BRT, and the North Crosstown BRT.
“BRT service is an important investment to accommodate Calgary’s current and future growth,” Stevens said in a recent interview.
The BRT will be a limited stop bus service that operates in regular traffic lanes but will include transit priority measures such as queue jumps and priority signals at intersections, which will keep the buses running on time, said Stevens.
“Additional stations will either be built or upgraded as part of construction, which will include amenities such as digital schedules and heated shelters,” Stevens said.
So far, the project has been receiving positive responses throughout the community, especially from students at SAIT and the University of Calgary, since the route will provide easier access to both campuses.
Hayley Babonau, a second-year student at SAIT and a Crescent Heights resident, said she is looking forward to the completion of the project.
“I currently take bus no. 19 to school, which is the route that runs along 16 Avenue N.W., but I find I’m always late for class due to delays,” Babonau said.
“A faster and more reliable way to get to and from school is something that is really needed in this area, considering that it is a student-dominated part of town,” she said.
Once completed, the North Crosstown BRT will operate seven days a week with buses running every 10 minutes during peak hours.
Construction on the project has been going smoothly, with only a few short-term lane closures in effect.
“The city has maintained traffic flow and access to adjacent businesses throughout construction,” said Stevens.
“The project is on time and on budget.”
Katty Kedrov, a student at the University of Calgary and a daily transit user, said she has been impressed with the way the city has been handling the construction of the project.
“It seems to be a lot more discreet than most of the [other] construction going on around the city,” Kedrov said.
“I haven’t had any complications with getting to and from school by car or bus on 16 Avenue while the construction has been going on,” she said.
Smith said that there have been no issues thus far, and construction will continue to run smoothly for the remainder of the project.