Proposed eco-hub transit project in Banff shows vast support
Published Friday, September 13, 2019 2:43PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 14, 2019 9:28AM MDT
Surveys conducted throughout the summer show that Banff residents and tourists would support a passenger rail line from Calgary International Airport to the mountain community. Results also showed strong support for intercept parking and aerial transit to Mt. Norquay.
It's a bold vision put together by 22-year, Banff residents Jan and Adam Waterous of Liricon Capital.
The Waterous’ are the long term lease owners of the historic Banff train station and the 32 acres of land that surrounds it.
They have a goal of making Banff ‘car free.’
“All visitors, should they wish to visit what we call points of interest in the park that they would have to take a shuttle or bus to get there,” said Jan Waterous.
The public engagement study surveyed 122 residents and 206 visitors on the streets of Banff.
“I am surprised that the car free notion is so high among visitors,” said Dr. Joe Pavelka, sustainable tourism researcher and Mount Royal University Professor.
“There is a lot of support for that.”
The goal of the vision is to alleviate traffic congestion in the town’s core, improve walkability and enhance the Cascade wildlife corridor.
Liricon Capital recently opened an Intercept parking lot with 500 spaces next to the Banff train station. It allows visitors to park for free and walk into town, reducing some congestion. It is the first Intercept lot in the community.
The company plans to add another 2000 spaces, to be operated in the town on a thirty year lease, once aerial transit to Mt. Norquay is operational.
That project would only allow visitors to make their way up the mountain via gondola.
Liricon Capital believes aerial transit serves two purposes:
It protects the ecological integrity of the Cascade Wildlife Corridor
It provides revenue to help fund the additional parking stalls.
However, not all are on board with the aerial transportation.
Town councillor Peter Poole believes privatizing a gondola in a public park might not be the best way forward.
“Do Canadians want access when they come to the mountain parks onto the public land or do they want that access to be closed off and privatized,” said Poole.
The Waterous’ could not say when the project would be complete if the vision is approved and comes to fruition.
Canadians from across the country were able to take part in the survey online and included:
- 1308 Albertans
- 400 Banff residents
- 1400 participants from the rest of Canada
327 responses were gathered through a public engagement campaign, which included 122 residents and 206 visitors.
Proposed eco-hub transit project in Banff shows vast supportFor more information on the project visit the Banff Eco-Transit Hub website.