I have offered my position on the construction schedule for the Green Line project in a previous post. Basically, I state that the current phase should be built from 7th Ave downtown all the way to the south end in Seton. Some of those who have questioned this plan raised a concern that not starting the north leg across the river would result in even larger delays for a potential link east to the airport. They contend that improved transit access to the airport would be a plus for the city.
I agree, we should have improved transit access to the airport. But if it’s a good idea, can we do it sooner and without spending another 4 to 6 BILLION dollars? YES WE CAN!
What many may not realize if they haven’t visited the area is that the Northeast Blue Line currently has a stop that comes very close to airport property. The number 100 bus runs from the stop to the airport but because of its route, takes about 25 minutes to get to the terminal despite its close physical proximity. Because of the timing and somewhat clumsy route, I suspect that few C-train riders use the 100 to connect to the airport or vice versa.
There is a better way. I am proposing an Express Shuttle Bus Service from the Westwinds Station to the departure/arrival lanes of the Calgary Airport Terminal. This would provide a direct link with no stops between the airport terminal and the C-train. The route would run up Metis Trail, across 80th Ave to 36th Street, make use of the Airport Trail tunnel (which we spent nearly 300 MILLION dollars to build), and arrive at the YYC terminal. The route takes about 10-12 minutes to travel and should be able to be scheduled around the current 16 minute frequency of the Blue Line C-train arrivals. Pickup/drop offs at YYC could be curbside at departure/arrivals levels and the layout at Westwinds terminal allows the buses to unload just a few easy steps from the train platform.
from Google Maps
from Calgary Transit website
My proposal would be to start an immediate pilot project running the Express Airport Shuttle from the Westwinds C-train stop to YYC. This pilot project would require no expensive construction and could provide improved access to the airport via the C-train without incurring billions of dollars in capital expenditures. Additionally, it would provide yet another reason why the Green Line construction should run to the space already allocated for it in Seton rather than north across the river.
Airport Tunnel By The Numbers - Summary by CBC - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-airport-tunnel-by-the-numbers-1.2649531
Current Bus Route 100 from Calgary Transit Trip Planner
Video added to post on June 19, 2021.