New bus route bridges airport with city centre
Calgary has a new option for getting to and from the airport..
Calgary Transit will institute a new bus rapid transit service from downtown to the terminal.
It isn't every day the mayor shows up to announce a new bus route , but route 300 is different, it's a rapid transit link from downtown to Calgary's airport.
Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi, says the route is a necessary addition.
"We've surprisingly never had a direct downtown link to the airport before and with the closure of Barlow trail it's really important we create alternatives for people travelling to the airport," says Nenshi.
Starting out as a six month trial, Calgary transit isn't expecting to make money on the new airport route.
"The project will cost about 330 thousand dollars for a six month pilot and that's an investment of the taxpayers into the service," says Doug Morgan with Calgary Transit.
Transit expects over eleven hundred people a day to bus it to YYC.
Most travelers at the airport welcomed the idea of the new service.
"I think that depends on the situation. If I was on a business trip from downtown I would probably use it," says Miranda Erickson. "If I'm leaving my home then I would probably still take my car."
"It's expensive to go to and from the airport and downtown so it makes sense," says Stephanie Wong.
"I would definitely use it," says Debra Mudd. "I think it will be a big convenience for everybody coming from downtown."
Taxi drivers are not happy with the publicly funded competition.
"It's going to cut into my business and I'm worried about that," says Ram Mishra.
"We'll probably lose one trip and that's about 30 or 40 dollars less income a day," says Sultan Ali Premji.
Calgary Transit says it wont' just be locals using the new airport bus
"We've got to make sure people visiting Calgary know about this arrangement and that's why this project includes some funding for advertising especially at the airport," says Nenshi.
Eventually an LRT extension to the airport will replace the bus route.
The new bus route has a different fare structure than the rest of the transit service. The regular fare will be in place for going to the airport. Leaving from the airport will costs eight dollars unless you have a Calgary transit bus pass which covers the cost of the ride.
For more information on the route, visit the Calgary Transit website.