Edmonton Light Rail Transit
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||1 in operation
1 under construction
|Number of stations||15 in operation
3 under construction
|Began operation||April 22, 1978|
|Operator(s)||Edmonton Transit System|
|Character||Subway in Downtown, surface running exclusive guideway elsewhere|
|System length||21 km (13.05 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
|Electrification||Overhead lines, 600 volts DC|
Edmonton Light Rail Transit, commonly referred to as the LRT, is a light rail system in Edmonton, Alberta. Part of the Edmonton Transit System (ETS), the 21-kilometre route starts at Clareview in Edmonton's northeast and ends at Century Park in Edmonton's south end.
- 1 Network
- 2 Stations
- 3 Rolling stock
- 4 Safety and security
- 5 Fares
- 6 History
- 7 Future expansion
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The system currently comprises a single line, the Capital Line, running from northeast Edmonton to south Edmonton via Downtown. A second line, the Metro Line, is currently under construction and will connect Downtown with northwest Edmonton. The first phase is scheduled to open by the end of 2014. In addition, there are further plans to create a new 27-kilometre line that will extend to Mill Woods Town Centre in the southeast part of the city and to Lewis Farms in the west end of the city.
During construction, surface area was preserved (although costs increased) by tunnelling under the downtown core and the University of Alberta main campus. The underground portions of the LRT connect to the Edmonton Pedway system with links to many buildings. The LRT crosses the North Saskatchewan River between the Grandin and University stations on the Dudley B. Menzies Bridge, a dedicated LRT and pedestrian bridge.
Storage, maintenance and operations of the LRT are controlled from the D.L. MacDonald Yard.
The LRT operates between 5:00 am and 1:00 am daily. Trains run on a five-minute frequency during rush hour, ten-minute frequency midday and Saturdays, and on a fifteen-minute frequency in the evening and on Sundays.
On June 25, 2012, the City of Edmonton released a concept map for a total of five LRT lines, at the same time launching a public contest to name the lines. On January 31, 2013, the city announced the names of the existing and future LRT lines. The approved and proposed lines are:
|1||Capital Line||Operational||Clareview||Century Park||15||21|
|2||Metro Line||Under construction||NAIT||Health Sciences/Jubilee||10|
|3||Energy Line||Proposed||Lewis Farms||Sherwood Park|
|4||Valley Line||Under construction||102 Street (Downtown)||Mill Woods||12|
|5||Festival Line||Proposed||Sherwood Park||Mill Woods|
The system currently consists of the following 15 consecutive stations: Clareview, Belvedere, Coliseum, Stadium, Churchill, Central, Bay/Enterprise Square, Corona, Grandin/Government Centre, University, Health Sciences/Jubilee, McKernan/Belgravia, South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park, Southgate, and Century Park stations. Of these, Churchill, Central, Bay/Enterprise Square, Corona, Grandin/Government Centre, and University are underground.
All stations have a centre platform.
The rolling stock of the Capital Line and future Metro Line comprises trains of either Siemens-Duewag U2 or Siemens SD-160 cars. ETS operates 37 U2 cars, some of which have been in operation since the system opened in 1978. ETS also operates 57 SD-160 cars, of which 37 were ordered between 2005 and 2007, with the first cars entering revenue service on January 27, 2009. An additional 20 cars was purchased in 2010 and 2011 for use in the Metro Line and were delivered from March 2012 to April 2013.
The Capital Line can operate up to five-car trains, though generally only three-car or four-car trains are used. Two-car trains are occasionally used for late night service. The Metro Line will operate three-car trains, as the temporary NAIT Station is only being built to accommodate three-cars.
Future lines of the LRT, including the Valley Line will use new low-floor cars.
Safety and security
All LRT stations are monitored by CCTV cameras. All trains are equipped with operator alert systems which will allow passengers to contact the train operator in the event of an emergency. Likewise, all stations are equipped with blue emergency help phones which will connect with ETS Security. The stations are patrolled by ETS Transit Peace Officers.
Despite the security measures put in place, there have been several incidents on the Edmonton LRT or at the LRT stations. In 2008, there were 328 crimes against persons reported on transit property. Some of the most serious incidents include:
- In 1988, a woman was strangled to death in a Churchill Station washroom.
- In 2010, a woman was shot and killed at Stadium Station.
- In 2012, a man was beaten to death on board the LRT between Stadium and Belvedere Station.
The cash fare for passengers using Edmonton Transit System buses and the LRT, effective February 1, 2014, is $3.20 for adults, seniors and youth. Children under age five ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
|Children 5 and under||Free|
Passengers can also purchase books of transit tickets or monthly transit passes. Seniors can purchase an annual transit pass at a discounted rate.
Passengers paying a cash fare at a fare machine at an LRT station are issued a transit ticket, which is validated as an LRT ticket after being time-stamped. This ticket is valid both as proof of payment and as a transfer. Transfers allow the passenger to transfer from the LRT to a bus, from a bus to the LRT and between buses, and is valid for 90 minutes from the time it was stamped. Passengers paying a cash fare on a bus can obtain a transfer at the time the fare is paid. Transfers also serve as proof of payment.
Passengers in an LRT proof of payment area must present proof of payment upon request by an ETS officer. Proof of payment includes LRT tickets, transfers, validated transit tickets and transit passes. Failure to provide proof of payment can result in a $250 fine. Proof of payment areas include all LRT trains and most LRT station platforms.
In 2007, the Edmonton Transit System, the University of Alberta (U of A), and MacEwan University partnered to provide students with a universal transit pass (U-Pass), which is valid on the LRT and all ETS buses as well as on Strathcona County and St. Albert Transit Systems. NAIT students voted to join the program in 2010. The U-Pass allows unlimited LRT and bus use to valid pass holders.
In 1962, Canadian Bechtel Ltd. was commissioned to develop a plan for Edmonton's rapid transit system. Construction began in 1974 with a budget of $65 million. Edmonton became the first city in North America with a metropolitan population of less than one million to build a modern light rail system. The population was just over 445,000 when the route first started construction in 1974. It also became the first city in Western Canada to operate a rapid transit system. Testing of the new line started in 1977 with regular service starting April 22, 1978, in time for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. The line followed a CN right-of-way from Belvedere Station to Stadium Station (near Commonwealth Stadium), via an intermediate stop at Coliseum Station (near Northlands Coliseum, now Rexall Place), and then continued in a tunnel under 99 Street to Central Station, at Jasper Avenue and 100 Street, including an intermediate stop at Churchill Station. The original line was 6.9 km long.
When the line opened, fare collection was modelled on traditional rapid transit lines, with booth attendants. Low volumes of activity at some entrances led to weekend closures of alternate station entrances. In November 1980, Edmonton Transit (as it was then named) switched to a modified European-style "proof of payment" system, initially retaining the old turnstiles to issue the new receipts. Fares were now collected by automated ticket vending machines with irregular proof of payment inspectors, which permitted keeping all entrances open and required fewer staff.
On April 26, 1981, ETS opened a northeastern-bound extension of 2.2 km on the CN right-of-way to Clareview Station. In June 1983, the light rail tunnel downtown was extended by 0.8 km to Bay and Corona stations. The D.L. MacDonald Yard, between Belvedere and Clareview, opened in December 1983 to store and service the vehicles. The line was extended in September 1989 by 0.8 km to Grandin Station (close to the Alberta Legislature). On August 23, 1992, the next extension opened from Grandin to University Station, partially via the Dudley B. Menzies Bridge, crossing the North Saskatchewan River with a lower level for pedestrians and cyclists, and partially via a tunnel into the station. Major upgrades to the Belvedere and Clareview stations occurred in 1998 and 2001 respectively.
On January 1, 2006, the line was extended 0.6 km south through the University Campus to Health Sciences Station, which is located at street level. On April 25, 2009, McKernan/Belgravia and South Campus stations were opened as part of the south LRT expansion, with Southgate and Century Park opening on April 24, 2010. The first of the new Siemens SD-160 light rail vehicle train cars for the new extension were shipped by rail from Florin, California, on April 24, 2008, arriving in Edmonton on May 9, 2008 (37 vehicles in total).
The LRT expansion was developed entirely at surface level with several underpasses, one at Belgravia Road and the other under 111 Street south of 61 Avenue. A short busway has been constructed from the South Campus station roughly parallel to Belgravia Road in conjunction with the South LRT expansion.
|LRT system construction history|
|Line||Capital project||Opening date||Track length||Light rail
|Capital||First segment||April 22, 1978||6.9 km (4.3 mi)||14||5||C$64.9|
|Capital||Clareview extension||April 1981||2.2 km (1.4 mi)||3||1||C$9.5||Park and ride lot with 450 stalls|
|Capital||Corona extension||June 1983||0.8 km (0.50 mi)||20||2||C$89.6|
|Capital||D.L. MacDonald Yard||December 1983||C$28.2|
|Capital||Grandin extension||September 1989||0.8 km (0.50 mi)||1||C$67.1|
(single track from south portal)
|August 23, 1992||1.6 km (0.99 mi)||1||C$79.1||Dudley B. Menzies Bridge|
(second track from south portal)
|May 14, 1994|
|Capital||Belvedere Station upgrade||September 23, 1998||C$6.3||Covered five-car platform
Grade-separated pedestrian overpass
|Capital||Clareview Station upgrade||March 4, 2001||C$11.5||Covered five-car platform
Transit centre on either side
Park and ride increased to approximately 1,500 stalls
|Capital||Health Sciences Station extension||January 4, 2006||0.6 km (0.37 mi)||1|
|Capital||South Campus Station extension||April 25, 2009||37||2||transit centre
|Capital||Century Park Station extension||April 24, 2010||2||two transit centres
two overhead pedways
one park 'n' ride
|Metro||NAIT Station branch||2014||3.3 km (2.1 mi)||3||C$665||overhead pedway at Macewan
one transit centre
pedestrian overpass at Health Sciences
Every station on the line built since 1983 has been built with full accessibility for persons with disabilities. The 1998 and 2001 upgrades to the Belvedere and Clareview stations involved installation of roofs and lengthening of platforms to accommodate five-car trains.
The LRT system had an estimated 18,220 weekday passenger boardings in 1978. Six stations and 24 years later, boardings more than doubled to 39,550 in 2002. As the LRT system continues to expand, and the population of Edmonton continues to increase, LRT ridership has grown to 100,760 in 2013.
The City of Edmonton has prioritized completion of the Metro Line to NAIT by 2014, followed by expanding the system to the southeast and west. City council approved funding to begin preliminary engineering on the Valley Line from Mill Woods to Lewis Farms in June 2011.
Capital Line expansion
Future plans call for expanding the current Capital Line to Gorman in the northeast and Heritage Valley in the south.
Metro Line expansion
On April 27, 2007, the city began detailed planning of a new LRT line that will run north from Churchill Station, to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), and eventually beyond to north-end neighbourhoods with a terminal station south of St. Albert.
Churchill Station to NAIT
The new line branches off the Capital Line at Churchill Station, runs west along 105 Avenue to the MacEwan University City Centre Campus, then north along 105 Street, Kingsway (Avenue), and 106 Street, to Kingsway Mall and NAIT.
In April 2008, Edmonton City Council approved $45 million in funding to build a tunnel under the Epcor Tower site immediately, while it was still under construction, with the aim of saving $140 million more than would have been required to dig under the tower once it was completed. This step was taken even though the rest of the project had not yet been approved, because of the time constraint posed by the construction of the new tower. Construction on the tunnel began in August 2009 and was completed by approximately September 2010.
On July 2, 2009, the federal and provincial governments approved the reallocation of funding from the proposed Gorman Station to the line as the city felt that NAIT was a higher priority.
The current expansion will add three stations to the system; MacEwan Station at MacEwan University, Kingsway/Royal Alex Station near Kingsway Mall and the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and NAIT Station at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. MacEwan Station will be located just east of the downtown MacEwan University campus, and west of the proposed downtown hockey arena, at 104 Street and 105 Avenue. The Kingsway/Royal Alex Station will be located on the north side of Kingsway, to the south of the hospital. As part of the plan, the current Kingsway Transit Centre will be relocated to the southeast corner of 111 Avenue and 106 Street, to provide service to both Kingsway Mall and the LRT station. The NAIT Station will be located north of Princess Elizabeth Avenue, on the south side of NAIT's swimming pool and hockey arena.
NAIT to St. Albert
Beyond NAIT, the Metro Line will travel through the new neighbourhood built after the City Centre (Blatchford Field) Airport is dismantled, go over the CN railway yard north of Yellowhead Trail, and continue north along 113A Street, and west along 153 Avenue. The City of St. Albert has also began preliminary plans to extend the LRT line into their borders.
On May 19, 2010, the transportation department announced its recommendation for an extension of the Metro Line from NAIT station to St. Albert. This extension is expected to eventually serve 42,000 to 45,000 passengers daily.
Mill Woods to Downtown
Planning studies for an LRT route from downtown to Mill Woods began in early 2009. In December 2009, Edmonton city council approved a new low-floor train route that would leave from a new ground-level Churchill Station, across the North Saskatchewan River on Tawatinâ Bridge, to be constructed east of Louise McKinney Park, climb the hill adjacent to Connors Road then proceed east along 95 Avenue and southbound at 85 Street. The route will travel southbound along 85 Street crossing the traffic circle and shifting to 83 Street, continuing south and east towards Wagner Road. Finally the line will proceed south along 75/66 Street until it reaches Mill Woods Town Centre. Within this line the proposed stations are: Quarters, Muttart, Strathearn, Holyrood, Bonnie Doon, Avonmore, Davies (to include a bus terminal and park & ride), Millbourne/Woodvale, Grey Nuns, and Mill Woods Town Centre.
On June 1, 2011, Edmonton City Council approved $39 million in funding to proceed with preliminary engineering for the Valley Line. In November 2011 City Council voted to allocate $800 million to the project, with the hopes of starting construction by 2014 and an expected completion date of 2018. A funding plan was approved in October 2012 in which the city would contribute $800 million into the project with the remaining $1 billion coming from the provincial and federal governments.
On February 15, 2012, city council approved the Downtown LRT concept plan. The Downtown LRT Project became part of the Southeast to West LRT project. The city hoped to have money in place by the end of 2013 for the $1.8-billion LRT line from downtown to Mill Woods to start construction in 2016. City council committed $800 million, the federal government invested $250 million, and $235 million would come from the provincial government, leaving a $515 million funding gap delaying the project. On March 11, 2014, it was announced that the project would be completely funded with an additional $150 million from the federal government and $365 million from the provincial government.
Downtown to Lewis Farms
The option approved by Council in 2010 was to have the west LRT extension run from downtown, along 104 Avenue and Stony Plain Road before diverting south on 156 Street towards Meadowlark Health And Shopping Centre, then along an 87 Avenue alignment to West Edmonton Mall and beyond. Proponents of this route cited opportunities for transit-oriented development.
The Southeast LRT extension generated opponents (particularly in the Edmonton Chinese community) when the city proposed to lay the tracks on 102 Avenue directly in front of an elderly care facility for the Chinese community, and despite demands to relocate the route to 102a Avenue, the city council voted for the original proposal.
Concerns over community impacts along the proposed West and North LRT extensions have led to a larger debate over the vision guiding the various expansion plans, and the criteria used to select the routes.
A lack of coordination between the extensions and transit oriented developments as well as integration with other regional transportation nodes, has given rise to proposals for a new LRT master plan to guide it all.
- "2013 LRT Passenger Count Report". City of Edmonton. January 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Edmonton Datasheet - SD160 Light Rail Vehicle". Siemens. Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "Dudley Menzies Bridge - Light Rail Transit Bridge Over The North Saskatchewan River". PCL. 2005. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
- "LRT Schedule and Map" (pdf). City of Edmonton. 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Name the LRT Lines Map". City of Edmonton. Retrieved November 20, 2012.[dead link]
- City of Edmonton. "Help Name Edmonton’s LRT Lines". Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Kent, Gordon (January 31, 2013). "City names LRT lines, grumbling follows". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Approved LRT Line Names". City of Edmonton. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Northwest LRT to City Limits". The City of Edmonton. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "St. Alberta LRT". City of St. Albert. February 23, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "Connors Road Construction". EPCOR. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "2014 Construction on your streets". City of Edmonton. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "New LRT Cars Start in Regular Service". City of Edmonton. 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Ho, Clara (July 9, 2010). "City transportation wants more LRT cars". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "More dollars coming for LRT". CBC News. February 8, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "Annual Review of 2010-2013 Council Initiatives Status Update". City of Edmonton. July 4, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "Valley Line LRT Factsheet". City of Edmonton. April 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- "Safety and Security". City of Edmonton. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- Drake, Laura; Warnica, Richard; Sumamo, Yonathan (May 23, 2010). "Woman's murder rattles LRT riders". Edmonton Journal. Canada.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Man dies after beating on Edmonton transit train". CBC News. December 31, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Fares". City of Edmonton. February 1, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Transfer Policy". City of Edmonton. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- "Edmonton university students say yes to U-Pass". CBC News. 2007-03-09. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- Edmonton Journal (2007-03-27). "MacEwan students approve transit pass". Canada.com. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- Jarvis, Kristina (2010-03-27). "NAIT students approve U-Pass". St. Albert Gazette. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- "History of ETS". City of Edmonton. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "LRT Brochure" (PDF). November 15, 2004. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Historical City of Edmonton Population". City of Edmonton. August 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Colin Hatcher (2003). Edmonton's Light Rail Transit – The First 25 Years. Edmonton Transit System.
- Tingley, Kenneth W. (2011). Ride of the Century: The Story of the Edmonton Transit System. City of Edmonton. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-9809275-0-4.
- "LRT Vehicle Arrival and Unveiling". City of Edmonton. May 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-24.[dead link]
- "South LRT Extension". City of Edmonton. 2009. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "North LRT Stations". City of Edmonton. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- "10-Year Capital Investment Agenda 2012-2021". City of Edmonton. June 18, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "City Council Minutes". City of Edmonton. June 1, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "LRT line likely to go under Epcor". Edmonton Journal. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- "Summer 2010 North LRT Newsletter" (PDF). 2010. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Alberta surges ahead with climate change action plan". Government of Alberta. 2008-07-08. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "North LRT Making Tracks Fall 2009". City of Edmonton. October 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-23.[dead link]
- Leduc County Growth Study (October 2008). "Section Five". Recommended Growth Strategy. Leduc County. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Mackenzie Sinclair (May 21, 2009). "Lovin' The LRT". See Magazine. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011.
- Ho, Clara (May 19, 2010). "City announces planned LRT route to St. Albert". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- "Southeast LRT Project History". City of Edmonton. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
- "Southeast LRT (Valley Line) Names Approved". City of Edmonton Naming Committee. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Southeast to West LRT - Approved Concept Plan Amendment". City of Edmonton. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "City fast-tracks LRT expansion with push for $800 million". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Kent, Gordon (October 17, 2012). "Council approves P3 funding plan for southeast LRT line". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "Southeast to West LRT: Mill Woods to Lewis Farms". City of Edmonton. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Dykstra, Matt (November 13, 2013). "Federal government projects a $3.7 billion budget surplus which could help Edmonton LRT line". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Tumilty, Ryan (March 11, 2014). "Southeast LRT funding includes $200 million interest-free provincial loan". Metro News. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Kent, Gordon (March 11, 2014). "Southeast LRT on track after province promises to fill $600 million funding gap (with video)". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Simons, Paula (May 26, 2014). "Cash for Valley Line is fine, but transit funding must be consistent". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Dykstra, Matthew (May 26, 2014). "Edmonton gets a final piece of funding for southeast portio of Valley LRT line". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Kent, Gordon (September 3, 2009). "Edmonton unveils west and south LRT plans". Archived from the original on November 7, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "City Proposes Southeast and West LRT Routes". September 3, 2009. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Edmonton approves Chinatown route for LRT". Cbcnews.ca. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "West LRT opposition heats up". Edmonton Journal. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "Mandel slams city staff over LRT route". Edmonton Journal. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "Residents fume over LRT's 'path of destruction'". Edmonton Journal. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "Sparks fly as councillors delay LRT hearing". Edmonton Journal. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- Jordan Schroder (June 26, 2008). "No, No, No: The LRT Needs To Go Here!". See Magazine. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011.
- Jordan Schroder (June 19, 2008). "Train To Nowhere". See Magazine. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edmonton Light Rail Transit.|
- Edmonton Transit System–Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove
- Edmonton Transit System–Future LRT
- ETS Photo Express