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Shuttle plan for Red Line closure gets its first rush hour test

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Three days into the city's largest ever replacement shuttle operation and the system is facing its first test as commuters start their work week.

The CTrain Red Line is closed between Chinook and City Hall/Bow Valley College stations with shuttles running every five minutes to bridge the gap.

Shuttle buses moved through smoothly in the first hours of the Monday morning commute, with a steady stream of people making the walk from the Chinook LRT platform to the waiting buses on 61 Avenue S.W.

The city says every road-worthy bus in its fleet will be in service this week to fill the gap.

Fifty buses including a mix of 40-foot, and 60-foot units are dedicated to the shuttle service during the closure.

There are also shuttles running from Heritage Park and Anderson stations between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. weekdays.

Bus drivers we spoke to, who are not allowed to speak to the media in an official capacity, said Mondays and Fridays tend to be the days of lowest ridership.

In a written statement, Calgary Transit said it expects things to start getting busier on Tuesday.

Macleod Trail will have lane closures during the week, but construction has been planned to allow all three lanes to stay open for the morning rush Monday to Thursday.

The city recommends anyone driving downtown take an alternate route -- either Crowchild to Bow Trail or Memorial Drive to the Fourth Avenue flyover -- to avoid Macleod Trail.

"So far, it's not so bad," one woman told CTV News. "They have it down pretty good. Coming home is going to be a lot worse for sure."

For Monday's Flames' game the city suggests taking transit or parking elsewhere in downtown and walking over to the Saddledome.

The Red Line is scheduled to reopen next Monday morning before the rush.

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