Calgary Transit

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Calgary Transit
Calgary Transit wordmark.png
Slogan '1884 - 1894 Onward!' (Not primary slogan)
Parent City of Calgary,
Transportation Dept.
Founded 1909 in its current form, 1884 to 1894 for the original Calgary Transit system.
Service area Calgary, Alberta
Service type Bus and light rail
Routes 160
Stations (LRT only) 10 on the NE leg, 9 on the NW leg, 6 on the SW leg, 11 on the South Leg and 9 downtown. Route 201 has 28 stops. Route 202 has 25 stops.
Fleet 965 buses
160 light rail vehicles[1]
Annual ridership 107.5 mil (2013)[2]
Fuel type Diesel for Bus, Electric (600 vdc) for LRT
Director Doug Morgan[3]
Website Official site

Calgary Transit is the public transit service which is owned and operated by the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2013, an estimated 107.5 million passengers boarded approximately 1,125 Calgary Transit vehicles (Service Population: 1,149,552), which thus provided 2.78 million hours of service (2.43 hours of service per capita).[2]


This 1947 image shows an older streetcar vehicle passing one of the new electric trolleybuses that replaced all the streetcars.

What would eventually become Calgary Transit began as the Calgary Street Railway [4] on July 5, 1909,[5] with twelve electric streetcars serving what was at the time a city of 30,000.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] This streetcar service expanded throughout the next thirty years (including the Depression) until 1946, when the company was renamed to Calgary Transit System as electric trolleybus vehicles began replacing the local streetcars. Eventually the electric trolley lines were phased out together — to be replaced by diesel buses. In 1972, CTS assumed its current name of Calgary Transit.

Between the early 1970s and 2000, Calgary Transit had a three tier bus service. Standard bus routes were identified with white bus stop signs. Blue Arrow bus routes, marked by blue signs, provided limited stops, and all day service to suburban neighborhoods from the city centre. Express service was indicated with red signs and provided extremely limited bus service to the far reaches of the city during peak hours only. These tiers have been slowly phased out, since Calgary Transit began expanding C-Train lines and capacity and implementing BRT service.

In 2012 Calgary Transit planners presented mayor Naheed Nenshi's council with a tentative 30-year plan 'RouteAhead' to enhance the capacities of Calgary Transit.[13][14]

On December 13, 2012 Craig Hardy, became the one hundred millionth rider of the year a record never reached in its 103-year history. He received free transit for a year and was celebrated by mayor Nenshi.[15][16]

The C-Train[edit]

Calgary Light Rail System Map
A C-train at Crowfoot station
Train in new red and white livery arriving at Anderson Station
Main article: C-Train

On May 25, 1981, Calgary Transit became one of the first transit systems in North America (behind Edmonton LRT which opened in 1978) to operate a light rail system — the C-Train, on which construction had begun in 1978. The original line (referred to internally as the Red Line, and externally as Route 201) ran from Anderson Station (just north of Anderson Road in the south end of the city) to 8th St SW in Downtown Calgary.

On April 27, 1985, a northeastern-bound line (Blue Line/Route 202) was opened, running from 8th St SW to Whitehorn Station (just south of the intersection of McKnight Boulevard and 36th Street in the northeastern quadrant of the city), and on September 4, 1987, a northwestern-bound line (C-Line / part of Route 201) was opened in time for the 1988 Winter Olympics, running from downtown to University Station (directly east of the University of Calgary campus, between 24th and 32nd Avenue on Crowchild Trail).

On September 3, 1990, a 1 km extension of the northwest line to Brentwood Station (south of Brisebois Drive on Crowchild Trail) was opened; on October 9, 2001 two new stations — Canyon Meadows Station (north of Canyon Meadows Drive and west of Macleod Trail) and Fish Creek-Lacombe Station (south of Bannister Road and west of Macleod Trail) were added to the south line; on December 15, 2003, Dalhousie Station (south of 53rd Street in the median of Crowchild Trail) was added to the northwestern line.

On June 28, 2004, two new stations for the south line opened: Shawnessy Station (south of a brand new interchange at Macleod Trail and Shawnessy Boulevard) and Somerset-Bridlewood Station (south of 162nd Avenue and just north of Shawville Gate).

On December 17, 2007, an extension was made to the Route 202 northeast line (first extension ever on the history of the line) from Whitehorn to the new McKnight-Westwinds Station.;

On June 15, 2009, Crowfoot Station was added on the northwest line located directly west of Crowfoot Town Centre in the median of Crowchild Trail.

On August 27, 2012, Martindale and Saddletowne Stations was added to the northeast line, making the total of stations on this line to 10.[17]

On December 10, 2012, the West LRT opened, with six new stations and the Downtown West - Kerby one in downtown.[18][19] Since it is Calgary's newest LRT line in 25 years, it is an extension of Route 202 (Blue Line). After this opening, the C-Train system total length is now 56.2 kilometres (34.9 mi) long.

Future extensions include the North Central line and the Southeast line (together running as the Green Line) running from North Pointe Bus Terminal, down Centre Street, through downtown, into the communities of Ogden, Douglasdale and McKenzie in the southeastern portion of the city, finally ending at the South Health Campus in Seton.[20]

On July 18, 2007, Calgary Transit officially unveiled a new red and white livery for its C-Train, Articulated Busses and every new bus or train coming into the system.

On August 27, 2008, a train en route to the Somerset station collided with a construction crane in between the Dalhousie and Brentwood stations. Six were injured in the accident, including one child.[21]

On February 18, 2009 Calgary Transit celebrated the 1,000,000,000th rider, randomly selecting a passenger, Shelly Xiao during a ceremony at the 1 Street SW CTrain Station.[22]


Articulated bus

On August 30, 2004, Calgary Transit opened a bus rapid transit line to operate future C-Train routes (the D-Line and an as-yet unplanned northbound line), using conventional buses until articulated buses entered service on June 25, 2007. The BRT system consisted of a single route, Route 301, serving the northern and western parts of the city. A subsequent route, Route 305, was added in 2008, serving the Bowness and 17th Avenue East corridors. A third route, Route 302, entered service on August 31, 2009, along a proposed southeast LRT corridor.[23]

The BRT is considered to be the successor to the Blue Arrow service introduced to the 1970s: both were a series of limited-stop routes that were to be intended to be replaced by LRT service in the future — however, the Blue Arrow service was never a true BRT (limited stop service, stopping at designated blue bus stop signs, was its only distinctive feature), the modern BRT includes priority at traffic signals, enhanced passenger waiting areas and offers a shorter travel time to the downtown with greater capacity articulated buses. The Blue Arrow name all but disappeared in 2000 in order to unify all bus stops under one common scheme, but certain Blue Arrow routes are still in service to this day. In fact, Route 305 replaces a Blue Arrow route (Route 105).

As of July 27, 2011, the BRT route 300 provides a direct link to the Calgary International Airport.[24] This line was introduced after Calgary's Mayor promised to make the airport more accessible via public transit.[25]

On March 12, 2012, BRT service was cut significantly in Calgary. The 302 now run with shuttle buses, during off peak hours and weekends. The 305 does not run on weekends at all. These are both due to low ridership.

On December 10, 2012, the BRT route 306 started. This route runs between Westbrook, past MRU, past Rockyview Hospital, then ending at Heritage Station.

Bus routes[edit]

List of Calgary Transit bus routes

Current Service[edit]

A Calgary Transit Nova Bus LFS 40102 model, with new livery, on Route 20

See also: List of Calgary Transit bus routes

Calgary Transit currently operates about 160 bus routes, 120 school routes with about 861 conventional buses, of which 714 are low floor, 115 shuttle busses and 192 light rail vehicles, 83 of which are Siemens-Duewag U2 (Unit #2001-2083) model cars, 110 of which are more recent Siemens SD-160s (Unit #2201-2272 & 2301-2338). In 2006-2008, a total of 40 new Siemens SD-160 LRVs (Unit #2233-2272) were delivered and are all in service as of March 2008. In 2010, 38 SD-160 LRVs (Unit #2301-2338) will be restyled. As of June 2010 around 68 of 72 SD160s have been retrofitted with Air Conditioning. In June 2010 an additional 38 restyled AC equipped Siemens SD160 LRVs began to arrive (units 2301-2338).[26] An additional 63 S200's Were ordered in 2014 and are in service as of July 2016 and 6 have arrived of 63. They are scheduled to finish shipping in August 2017

The current conventional bus fleet includes:

  • New Flyer D40LF 521 units
    • 1995 Fleet # 7551-7591 (7551, 58, 70, 79, 85 & 90 remain active) (This is the first order with Series 50 engines, and the last with a rear window) - Split between Anderson Garage 12 and Spring Gardens Garage 28
    • 1996 Fleet # 7601-7644 (All Active) - Split between Anderson Garage 28 and Spring Gardens Garage 16
    • 1999 Fleet # 7651-7694 (All Active) - Split between Anderson Garage 24 and Spring Gardens Garage 20
    • 2001 Fleet # 7701-7782 (7751 Retired) (This is the first order with Cummins ISC engines and Balios LED display signs) - All 81 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2002 Fleet # 7783-7817 (7805 Retired) - Split between Anderson Garage 6 and Victoria Park Garage 28
    • 2003 Fleet # 7818-7858 (7857 Retired) (This is the first order with a flat rear panel and Luminator Horizon signs) - All 40 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2004 Fleet # 7859-7890 (7883 Retired) (This is the first order with Cummins ISL engines) - All 31 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2005 Fleet # 7891-7920 (All Active) - All 30 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2005 Fleet # 7921-7962 (All Active) (This is last series of buses with push bar operated rear doors) - All 42 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2006 Fleet # 7963-7980 (All Active) (This is only series of buses with sliding windows instead of tip-in windows) - All 17 are at Anderson Garage
    • 2007 Fleet # 7981-8015 (All Active) (This is last series of buses painted in the old three stripe livery) - All 35 are at Anderson Garage
    • 2007-08 Fleet # 8016-8065 (All Active) - Split between Anderson Garage 45 and Spring Gardens Garage 5
    • 2008 New Flyer D40LFR Fleet #8066-8095 - All 30 are at Springs Gardens Garage
  • Nova Bus Low Floor LFS 100 Units
    • 2010 Fleet # 8101-8130 (All Active) - All 30 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2010-11 Fleet # 8131-8158 (All Active) - All 28 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2011 Fleet # 8159 & 8160 (Both Active) - Both are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2011 Fleet # 8161-8180 (All Active) - All 20 are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2012 Fleet # 8181-8200 (All Active) (This order has no rear window) - All 20 are at Spring Gardens Garage
  • Compressed Natural Gas buses
    • 2012 New Flyer XN40 Fleet # 8201-8202 - Both are at Spring Gardens Garage
    • 2013 Nova Bus Low Floor LFS CNG Fleet # 8203-8204 - Both are at Spring Gardens Garage
  • New Flyer XD40 150 units
    • 2014 Fleet # 8205-8354 (This series is the first with solid windows and touch bar operated doors) - All 150 are at Spring Gardens Garage
  • New Flyer D60LFR 63 units
    • 2007 Fleet # 6001-6006 - All 6 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2007-08 Fleet # 6007-6021 - All 15 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2008 Fleet # 6022-6041 - All 20 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2009 Fleet # 6042-6063 (This order features square door windows) - All 22 are at Victoria Park Garage
  • New Flyer XD60 30 units
    • 2013 Fleet # 6064-6073 - All 10 are at Victoria Park Garage
    • 2014 Fleet # 6074-6093 - All 20 are at Victoria Park Garage
  • The current shuttle bus fleet includes
    • 2007 Eldorado EZ Rider II MAX Low Floor - # 1601-1612 (All Active)
    • 2009 Eldorado EZ Rider II MAX Low Floor - # 1613-1624 (All Active)
    • 2009 GM/Chevrolet 4500 Arboc Mobility - # 1701-1721 (1708 Retired)
    • 2011 GM/Chevrolet 4500 Arboc Spirit of Freedom # 1722-1753 (All Active)
    • 2011 GM/Chevrolet 4500 Arboc Spirit of Freedom "Hybrid" # 1754-1758 (All Active)
    • 2011 GM/Chevrolet 4500 Arboc Spirit of Freedom # 1759-1793 (All Active)
    • 2012 GM/Chevrolet 4500 Arboc Spirit of Freedom # 1794-1823 (All Active)

All shuttle busses are at Victoria Park Garage

The well developed C-Train system along with several mainline bus routes provide the backbone of the system while many feeder bus routes and express services act to complement this backbone service. Service frequency and service hours on the C-Train and busier bus routes is typically from 5–30 minutes with operating hours of about 4AM-3AM. Most feeder bus routes run at 15-45 minute intervals with similar operating hours on most routes and reduced on others. In addition there are many rush hour only services, some are feeder routes and some are express routes, these usually run 10–30 minutes apart.


Calgary Transit currently operates as a single fare zone, with a flat rate fare for all standard service including bus, BRT, and the CTrain. As of January 2016, a single adult fare is $3.15, or $2.10 for youth. Books of 10 tickets are available at par to 10 fares. Monthly passes are also available, with youth passes for $60.00, and adult passes for $99.00. Seniors (65 and over) pay $95.00 for a yearly pass which is valid from July 1 to June 30 of the following year and which entitles them to travel at any time. Service on Christmas Day is free of charge. Starting New Year's Eve 2014, extended service until 3:00 a.m. on the CTrain and select bus routes requires regular fare. In order to transfer from one transit vehicle to another, proof of fare from the CTrain, or a transfer from a bus is required. A transfer or proof of fare is valid for 90 minutes from the time of issue, for any transit service (including stopovers).

In cooperation with many of the post-secondary schools located in the city, a Universal Pass (U-Pass) program is offered to all students, paid as part of their tuition.

Fare Type Price (Canadian dollars)[27]
Cash Fare or Adult Single Ticket $3.15
Youth Cash Fare or Youth Single Ticket $2.10
Children Under 6 (with fare-paying customer) Free
Book of 10 Adult regular Tickets $31.50
Book of 10 Youth Tickets $21.00
Day Regular Adult Pass $9.50
Day Youth Pass $6.75
Monthly Pass (Adult Regular) $99.00
Youth Monthly Pass $60.00
Monthly Pass (Low-income) $44.00[28]
Senior Citizen(65 years & over) Annual Pass (Regular Rate) $95.00
Senior Citizen (65 years & over) Annual Pass, (Reduced Rate) $15.00
UPass – ACAD $125.00[29]
UPass – Mount Royal University $125.00[30]
UPass – SAIT $125.00[31]
UPass – St. Mary's University College $125.00[32]
UPass – University of Calgary (Full-time students only) $125.00[33]

Connect Card[edit]

The "Connect Card" is the name of Calgary Transit's proposed electronic fare smart-card. After two years of work and after installing smart-card readers on every bus and at all C-Train stations that were supposed to start working in the summer of 2012, Calgary Transit cancelled the deal with its contractor, Spain-headquartered Telvent. The City of Calgary announced on November 8, 2012 that crews will remove the new smart-card machines out of all Calgary Transit 1,000 city buses and 160 LRT pay machines after repeated glitches and delays.[34] About one year later, the City then announced that they would relaunch the initiative, again with Telvent as the provider. In June 2015, the City of Calgary decided to scrap the Connect Card project and attempt to recover costs from Schneider Electric (formerly Telvent).[35]


There are five major Calgary Transit facilities to store and maintain the transit fleet, as well as run several operations departments to keep the system running:[36]

  • Spring Gardens Administrative Building/Garage: Conventional bus storage, administration, machine shop, body shop, heavy duty diesel mechanical shop, bus operator training, maintenance and equipment training
  • Victoria Park Garage: Conventional, articulated and shuttle bus storage, body shop, call centre, heavy duty mechanical shop, bus and rail operations control centre, protective services
  • Anderson Garage: Conventional bus storage, LRV storage, LRV light/heavy duty maintenance, bus/LRV body shop, machine shop, heavy duty diesel mechanical shop, LRV operator training, maintenance and equipment training
  • Haysboro LRV Storage Site: LRV storage
  • Oliver Bowen Maintenance Centre: LRV storage, LRV light/heavy duty maintenance, machine shop


Formed in the 1980s as Special Constables under the Police Act of Alberta, Special Constables had most authorities given to regular Police Constables. In 2008, the new Peace Officer Act replaced the old Police Act. Officers were then renamed as Peace Officers under this Act and given full Peace Officer powers in the Province of Alberta with certain exceptions.

Commuter Rail[edit]

Calgary Transit briefly experimented with a commuter train in 1996. The service consisted of a single line, running from a platform at 162 Avenue SW (present-day Somerset-Bridlewood Station) to Anderson Station (then the terminus of the South Line), where commuters could transfer to the C-Train network. Running every 20 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours, the free service carried an average of just over 800 people per day. The city didn't lay any new track, but ran the trains on the CPR freight line running alongside the South Line's tracks. Siemens RegioSprinter diesel multiple units were used as the rolling stock.[37] With a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour, the train could cover the roughly 7 kilometres in a matter of minutes. The city ultimately decided not to implement permanent commuter rail. The C-Train system was later extended along the same corridor, with more stations and regular service.

In recent years, transit planners and some politicians have discussed adding commuter service to Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Strathmore and other nearby cities and towns, but no firm plans have been made.[38]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b About CT - Statistics
  3. ^ "Doug Morgan to Lead Calgary Transit". City of Calgary (website). March 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  4. ^ Jennings, A. Owen (1911). Merchants and manufacturers record of Calgary. Calgary: Jennings Publishing Company. p. 28. 
  5. ^ Ward, Tom (1975). Cowtown : an album of early Calgary. Calgary: City of Calgary Electric System, McClelland and Stewart West. p. 234. ISBN 0-7712-1012-4. 
  6. ^ Robert M. Stamp (2004). Suburban Modern: Postwar Dreams in Calgary. TouchWood Editions. pp. 50, 54. ISBN 9781894898256. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  7. ^ Colin K. Hatcher (1975). "Stampede City Streetcars: The Story of the Calgary Municipal Railway". Railfare. ISBN 9780919130258. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  8. ^ Colin Hatcher, Tom Schwarzkopf (2010). "Calgary's electric transit: an illustrated history of electrified public transportation in Canada's oil capital : streetcars, trolley buses, and light rail vehicles". Railfare DC Books. ISBN 9781897190562. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  9. ^ Maxwell Foran (2008). "Icon, Brand, Myth: The Calgary Stampede". Athabasca University Press. ISBN 9781897425053. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  10. ^ Donald B. Smith (2005). Calgary's Grand Story: The Making of a Prairie Metropolis from the Viewpoint of Two Heritage Buildings. University of Calgary Press. p. 86. ISBN 9781552381748. Retrieved 2013-12-29. On 5 July 1909, the City of Calgary inaugurated its street railway system just in time for the Alberta Fair. The corner of 8th Avenue and 1st Street West became the focal point of streetcar convergence, and subsequently the centre of retail activity. Streetcars operated under newly-erected overhead wiring from the convergence to the fair grounds at Victoria Park, and soon elsewhere in the city as well. New trackage proceeded at a rapid pace and soon additional lines were built throughout the downtown area and then expanded to residential areas to the east, west and south. 
  11. ^ Wendy Bryden (2011). "The First Stampede of Flores LaDue: The True Love Story of Florence and Guy Weadick and the Beginning of the Calgary Stampede". Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781451609349. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  12. ^ Charles E. Reasons (1984). "Stampede City: power and politics in the West". Between the Lines. ISBN 9780919946460. Retrieved 2013-12-29. Foran points out that while poorer residential areas were given streetcar routes (to get workers to the job), they lacked full utility services or building restrictions. Two such communities, Bowness and Forest Lawn, were outside the city limits but part of urban Calgary. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Calgary Transit's 100 millionth rider of 2012 celebration on YouTube
  16. ^
  17. ^ Saddletowne and Martindale Rider's Guide
  18. ^ West LRT Infographic on YouTube
  19. ^ Take a ride from 69 Street Station to Sunalta Station on YouTube
  20. ^ "Plans and Projects – Green Line". Calgary Transit. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ CTrain Carries its One Billionth Customer
  23. ^ Southeast BRT Rider's Guide
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Calgary Transit – Fares
  28. ^ Calgary Transit Low-Income Monthly Transit Pass
  29. ^ Calgary Transit Universal Pass Program
  30. ^ "UPass FAQ". Mount Royal University. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  31. ^ "ID Cards and Universal Transit Pass (FAQ)". SAIT. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  32. ^ "U-Pass FAQs". St. Mary's University College. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  33. ^ "UPass – What is it?". University of Calgary. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  34. ^[dead link]
  35. ^ Stark, Erika; Sylvester, Erin (June 30, 2015). "Updated: Calgary Transit cancels Connect card, vows legal action to recover money". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^,%2008.pdf

External links[edit]