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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 10:26 PM
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Calgary Area Regional Transit

Thought I'd start a new thread, and invite both residents of Calgary and the outlying cities and towns to comment.

What are the pros and cons of a regional commuter train? Expanding the LRT lines instead?
What are the benefits to Calgary? To cities/towns like Cochrane, Okotoks, and Airdrie? Any cons for the smaller communities? Cons for Calgary?
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Don't put the CART before the horse! Sorry I couldn't help myself.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 10:50 PM
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"calgary transit" is good enough for this kind of posting isnt it???

seriously
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Don't put the CART before the horse! Sorry I couldn't help myself.
Bol'shoye spasibo! Budu zdyes' tsyeluyu nyedyelyu! Poprobovaitye tyelyaitinu!*

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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:10 PM
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I think there should be a passenger train from Langdon into town. There was train service 100 years ago, and Langdon is bigger now.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Coldrsx View Post
"calgary transit" is good enough for this kind of posting isnt it???

seriously
why does edmonton need two development threads?

Who cares, that's why.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:20 PM
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But seriously, folks...

Commuter rail is a good fit for places like Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks for two fundamental reasons. Firstly, commuter rail can be scaled and scheduled to meet the demand for those communities independently of the scaling and scheduling required for effective C-Train service within Calgary's city limits--three-to-ten-minute schedules from downtown Calgary to Cochrane and Okotoks, notwithstanding the merits of Seaman Stadium and MacKay's Ice Cream, is probably overkill for the foreseeable future. More importantly, the basic heavy rail infrastructure from Calgary to places like Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks is already in place*, which makes it much easier to sell these centres on platforms and terminal facilities than would be the case for LRT track and way.

The Calgary Regional Partnership is onside for commuter rail, and so, at least in the early going, is the CPR. There's enough money on the table for Airdrie, Cochrane, and Okotoks to ante up for at least a train set and a no-frills terminal apiece. Why not start laying the groundwork for commuter rail while the stars are aligned?

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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:30 PM
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I absolutely agree, now is the time to put a plan in place so that this issue doesn't get swept under the rug later.

Heavy rail is certainly the way to go (LRT expansion out to those areas makes very little sense for several reasons, capacity, it will totally mess with the headways in Calgary, and actual Calgarians would get screwed service-wise.)

Heavy Rail with a stop at the edge of the city works best.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffwhit View Post
I absolutely agree, now is the time to put a plan in place so that this issue doesn't get swept under the rug later.

Heavy rail is certainly the way to go (LRT expansion out to those areas makes very little sense for several reasons, capacity, it will totally mess with the headways in Calgary, and actual Calgarians would get screwed service-wise.)

Heavy Rail with a stop at the edge of the city works best.
Do you mean the edge of Calgary, or the smaller city? or both?
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:39 PM
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I have an editorial on this topic I am submitting to the Herald in the next day or two. I'll post it when its a little closer to being done. It has to do with creating a regional transit authority, rather than having a separately operated commuter rail system (Like the GO Train). Also a real estate development company that acquires and is land developer for TODs in the region.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:48 PM
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For the Airdrie line I'd like to see two stations within the city limits. One at Airport Trail and one at McKnight Boulevard. Both would have substantial park and ride lots. The Airport Trail station would allow transfers to an Airport spur LRT line. Basically I think that two stations on a commuter rail line would be more than adequate for the Nose Creek corridor and would add more incentive for the city to put the North Central LRT line somewhere actually useful prior to arriving at Harvest Hills Boulevard.

Likewise the Okotoks line would have a couple of stations, easily integrated into preexisting LRT stations. Not entirely sure which ones I'd pick, but Anderson and Chinook would definitely be on the short list.

The Cochrane line would have to have a stop somewhere near Bowness or Montgomery.

The Strathmore line would need a stop for Chestermere but beyond that I'm at a loss for the location of any station within Calgary.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
Do you mean the edge of Calgary, or the smaller city? or both?
I mean Calgary, I don't really care where Airdrie would want to put their station.

I'm thinking around the rail yard at Stoney Trail and Nose Hill, 22x and Mcloed (or Deerfoot, I'm not sure where it would actually go,) Deerfoot and Country Hills etc. and then run a non-stop bus btween those stations and the closest C-train for those who don't work downtown, go to the U of C etc etc. and charge a lower fare. That way people who live in places like Tuscany, Valley Ridge etc who are willing to pay a little more than a C-train ride can take an express train to work downtown. It should alleviate strain on the LRT system as well.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:53 PM
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For the Airdrie line I'd like to see two stations within the city limits. One at Airport Trail and one at McKnight Boulevard. Both would have substantial park and ride lots. The Airport Trail station would allow transfers to an Airport spur LRT line. Basically I think that two stations on a commuter rail line would be more than adequate for the Nose Creek corridor and would add more incentive for the city to put the North Central LRT line somewhere actually useful prior to arriving at Harvest Hills Boulevard.
I like the way this guy thinks!

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Originally Posted by Bassic Lab View Post
Likewise the Okotoks line would have a couple of stations, easily integrated into preexisting LRT stations. Not entirely sure which ones I'd pick, but Anderson and Chinook would definitely be on the short list.

The Cochrane line would have to have a stop somewhere near Bowness or Montgomery.

The Strathmore line would need a stop for Chestermere but beyond that I'm at a loss for the location of any station within Calgary.
Only point of contention here is what to do about Strathmore--last I checked, the rail bed through that town was salvaged decades ago, so the furthest you'd get due east would be to Chestermere. Now if you were buying near Kathyrn or Indus for a commuter rail TOD, on the other hand, you'd make it back hand over fist, as Indus is on the CPR mainline, and CN still runs through Kathyrn....
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by josh white View Post
I have an editorial on this topic I am submitting to the Herald in the next day or two. I'll post it when its a little closer to being done. It has to do with creating a regional transit authority, rather than having a separately operated commuter rail system (Like the GO Train). Also a real estate development company that acquires and is land developer for TODs in the region.
I think I'd rather have a separate authority in charge of regional transit than to combine all public transit into one corporation. Regional transit would require other municipalities having a say and I don't want them to have a say in Calgary Transit. They'd have to work together closely of course, but I don't want service in Calgary to be compromised at all for the benefit of out of towners. Beyond that I think the real estate developing arm of the venture is a great idea.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:02 AM
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^^ I believe one co-ordinated regional transit authority would be better myself. (CART!) It's the model many places tend to use (SEPTA, the MTA,) and I think having competing transit systems would cause more harm than good.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:06 AM
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I think I'd rather have a separate authority in charge of regional transit than to combine all public transit into one corporation. Regional transit would require other municipalities having a say and I don't want them to have a say in Calgary Transit. They'd have to work together closely of course, but I don't want service in Calgary to be compromised at all for the benefit of out of towners. Beyond that I think the real estate developing arm of the venture is a great idea.
Only way I can see an integrated agency working is for Calgary Transit to buy out Airdrie Transit and any other existing transit services in Cochrane, Okotoks, Chestermere, and High River, and to charge franchise fees to MD Rocky View and MD Foothills. It might be more effective to give Calgary Transit a veto equity stake (say, 50 percent plus one share) in a separate regional authority built from scratch to handle commuter rail, co-ordinate in-town feeder and mainline services, and operate a TOD real estate arm.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:11 AM
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Regional authority is the only way to go, thats for sure. Give each town/city and possibly the three MD's (Rockyview, Foothills and Wheatland) a seat on the board and let them run it.

The big question that just came to my mind though, is where should the maintenance facilities, garages, etc be? Likely in Calgary somewhere, just for the sake of being central, but it would have to be accessible to the rail networks which does limit it somewhat. Something such as bus service is a bit easier to locate and if it was contracted out on the basis of it being temporary until the rail system is up and running either First Group or Southland has a facility in at least 3 of the surrounding communities that it could be based out of locally.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:11 AM
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What about the heavy rail stopping at both the edge of the city and downtown? Have a high capacity central station downtown that connects the heavy commuter rail lines with underground LRT and future rail links to Edmonton. Connections would be a breeze. Or am I dreaming?
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:23 AM
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^^Umm, I believe it was assumed by most people that all the trains would end their journey downtown, I just meant there should be stations also at the edge of Calgary for each line as well.

I've been dreaming of a grand central terminal around the Calgary Tower myself, which also would be the Bus terminal, and conenct the LRT and possible future streetcar networks as well and that damn HSR. Something truly spectacular, a modern day Penn Station (the old one..)

It would give the Calgary Tower meaning again as it would truly be the central landmark of the city.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 12:29 AM
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^^Umm, I believe it was assumed by most people that all the trains would end their journey downtown, I just meant there should be stations also at the edge of Calgary for each line as well.

I've been dreaming of a grand central terminal around the Calgary Tower myself, which also would be the Bus terminal, and conenct the LRT and possible future streetcar networks as well and that damn HSR. Something truly spectacular, a modern day Penn Station (the old one..)

It would give the Calgary Tower meaning again as it would truly be the central landmark of the city.
Ah, I didn't realize you guys were assuming a downtown stop. My bad.

A "Grand Central Station" would be an awesome thing. I'm usually not one who likes when governments spend big money, but in this case I think we should do it right while we have extra money to play with. With a good transportation network the region can grow to a critical mass that isn't as affected by huge swings in commodity prices.
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