Calgarians are looking forward for Green Line project

Green Means Go: Blake Hewson sits at his desk in Calgary on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Hewson often takes Calgary public transportation and believes that the green line project would greatly help his morning commute. (Photo by Ethan Allan/The Press)

Despite increasing delays and costs, Calgarians are largely in favour of the Green Line LRT project.

With the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a massive infrastructure project like the green line has many Calgarians breathing a sigh of relief.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time really, and we’ve got a problem with congestion on our roads and that’s going to alleviate that dramatically,” said Blake Hewson, a resident of Calgary.

According to the City of Calgary website, the project will help in decreasing road congestion, improving the connectivity of the city, and create upwards of 20,000 jobs.

A poll conducted by Project Calgary on Jun. 11 concluded that between 60 to 70 per cent of Calgarians support the building of the Green Line for various reasons.

However, recent delays in the project have left Calgarians and politicians in a state of limbo.

“I think that’s a result of what we’re dealing with right now with COVID-19 and everything,” said Hewson,

“But that does happen with these projects, sometimes you get curveballs and you just have to work around them.”

As Calgary expands its borders, many residents on the fringes of the city feel left out when it comes to public transit access.

This especially leaves those within lower income brackets searching for other ways to get around the city, often leaving them limited in their options for finding work.

“I think a lot of people would like to at least have the option of taking transit as opposed to using a vehicle, but right now that option is really difficult,” said Spencer Stevens, a Calgary resident.

While some residents have voiced their concerns about the cost of the project, an estimated $4.9 billion, others believe that everything it will do for the city will be worth it in the end.

It couldn’t have come at a better time really, and we’ve got a problem with congestion on our roads and that’s going to alleviate that dramatically. – Blake Hewson

“I believe it would pay for itself over some time,” said Stevens.

Despite the fact that there are Calgarians both in favour and opposition to the Green Line, a decision needs to be made soon to ensure the city moves forward in the most efficient and effective way possible.

“It’s time for the province to decide,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi during a press conference in December.