January, 2000

Calgary's Transport Woes on the Mend
APEGGA Branch Told

By Tracey Horne-Pettipas

Calgary is considered one of the best places in the country to live.

But during the past couple of years, Calgarians have had the questionable pleasure of being packed like sardines on C-trains and buses, or sitting in their cars getting more and more frustrated not getting anywhere during rush-hour traffic. Finally, there seems to be a light at the end of that long journey home.

According to Ken Reashor, P.Eng., manager of transportation planning, City of Calgary, who spoke at the Calgary Branch Luncheon on Nov. 18, the city's transportation department has a ten-year plan in place to alleviate the mounting frustration faced by commuters.

Thanks a Sept. 7 announcement by Premier Ralph Klein, a new transportation infrastructure plan is being implemented in Alberta. Beginning in April 2000, grants based on five cents per litre of the existing fuel tax from fuel sold in Edmonton and Calgary will be provided directly to the cities for transportation infrastructure needs. Currently, Calgarians use approximately 1.7 billion litres of fuel that will net out to $85 million per year for the city.

"Now we have the opportunity and long-term commitment to plan ahead what we need to build in transportation needs to make much needed changes," says Mr. Reashor. "Over the next 10 years, there will be significant improvements to Calgary roadways, such as adding new light rail trains, new buses and shuttles, LRT expansions south and north, and wider roads."

The cost breakdown for these improvements is $255 million for ongoing projects, $752 million for revised critical projects and $202 million for expanded projects for a grand total of $1.2 billion.


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