Thursday, February 19, 2009

Calgary LRT notches one-billion rider mark

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Calgary, Alberta’s C-Train light rail service, which opened in 1981, officially recorded its 1 billionth passenger Wednesday, as officials also noted the system now carries 280,000 riders per weekday.

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the C-Train’s increased use both signals and justifies more investment for light rail in particular and transit in general.

"We have additional cars under way and we're expanding both the northeast and the northwest line, and later this year we'll be in construction of the first new line in 26 years which is the west leg of the LRT," Bronconnier said. "This is part of our strategy to double the capacity over the next decade for growth in Calgary to meet the growing demand."

Calgary light rail service debuted on May 24, 1981, as the second LRT “new start” in North America, following Edmonton, Alberta, whose LRT system commenced operation on April 28, 1978. Both Albertan cities presaged the first U.S. LRT new start in San Diego, which took place July 26, 1981.