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Calgary’s new MAX bus rapid transit system to open Nov. 19

Global News Morning Calgary's Doug Vaessen has the details on Calgary Transit's new "Max" bus rapid transit system.

Calgary Transit’s new bus rapid transit system (BRT) is set to open on Nov. 19.

Branded as “MAX,” the $300-million system will complement the city’s existing bus and LRT network.

“It’s a big change for the way Calgarians travel. We have seen Calgarians’ travel patterns change over time,” Nikhil Lobo with Calgary Transit, said.

READ MORE: Calgary Transit contemplates rebranding that would take it to the ‘MAX’

BRT is new for Calgary. Other regions like the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa already have similar systems.  Calgary’s will be different, however, as there will be no separate roadways for the buses.

Lobo said the MAX network was built to move Calgarians efficiently between key destinations.

“There are more direct connections to key destination points that Calgarians tell us they want to travel to.  So the MAX orange line is the north crosstown route between Brentwood and Saddletowne all along 16 Avenue corridor,” he said. “The MAX purple line is along 17 Avenue S.E. between East Hills and the city centre.  And the MAX teal line is the south crosstown route that provides great connections to educational institutions and to shopping and businesses along the south of the city between Westbrook and Douglas Glen.”

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The southwest portion will not be completed until next year.

The stations will feature large platforms, heated shelters, local public art and screens that display real-time bus arrival time information, Lobo said.

“It’s going to meet the needs for Calgarians today and for the future.  It’s going to provide great crosstown connections – increase reliability – improve travel time, a great customer experience as well,” Lobo said. “Maximum service, maximum comfort and maximum connections.”

The new routes will mean changes to some existing ones. Calgary Transit is holding open houses to help people understand how MAX works.  Information on these sessions is on the Calgary Transit website.

–With files from Global News’ Doug Vaessen

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