Privatize Calgary Transit

I was recently out in the United Kingdom on vacation. If you know my travel habits, you know I rarely stay in one place for long — I like to move around. (Yes, this often fuels or is fueled by my mild obsession with trains.) It means that I often pay close attention to public transit, and how it operates.

While we were in York, a thought suddenly hit me. I’m sure I’d seen this elsewhere, but it hadn’t really registered. The buses weren’t run by York Transit, or Transit Yorkshire, or anything directly related to the city/region government. The buses were privatized through FirstGroup PLC.

And suddenly I thought: Why couldn’t Calgary do the same?

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West LRT Line in Calgary approved

It’s official — I’m going to be able to ride the C-Train to work in four years. Sounds like a long time away, but the reality is that this is going to make my life a lot better. Back when I used to live in Sunnyside, I periodically took the C-Train to work — though it was really more like cheating given the short distance.

But I’m almost back to driving to try and make up 30 minutes a day from travelling on buses and waiting for them to show up (basically, a 1.5 hour round-trip commute). This would help since the trains run near-constantly during rush hour, and cut down on the amount of walking I have to do!

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Calgary is big enough for better transit

As I’ve said before, I’m no expert. I haven’t been everywhere or done everything. But one thing I have done is paid attention to public transit systems, especially the ones I’ve had to deal with on a daily basis.

Such as the one in Calgary. You already know [[Calgary Transit Sucks|how I feel about our beloved transit system]]. And we’re long overdue to consider how much bigger it should be.

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Improving Calgary Transit in the city core

I’ve gone back to taking the bus. While biking to work is (believe it or not) faster than taking the bus, I’m not too fond of the idea of biking down the side of the hill (switchback or not) in the dark, where I know coyotes tend to lurk. I’ve seen them in my neighbourhood — some distance from the river — so I know they hang out in the bushes.

Besides, I’m a lazy bastard and right now I’m having a hard enough time getting out of bed let alone biking 11.4 kilometres first thing in the morning.

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Calgary Transit Sucks

I was having a discussion with Doug down in the Bistro this morning, and I came to a rather interesting realization: Calgary Transit sucks.

Let’s have a realistic view, here. Calgary is the third or fourth largest city in Canada. We’re over a million people (we recently had our one millionth baby, but I suspect we’re actually well over that number in population). We have a massive city by area because Calgary hasn’t quite figured out that we should be building up, not out.

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