Bus Rapid Transit line in southwest Calgary to launch before new year

A map of the destinations along the MAX Yellow BRT route, set to launch of Dec. 23. Cody Coates/Global News

Southwest Calgary will soon have it’s own Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.

MAX Yellow is launching Dec. 23, running from downtown Calgary to Woodbine. It will also provide direct connections to places like the Southland Leisure Centre, Lincoln Park, Rockyview Hospital and Mount Royal University.

The project includes new heated BRT shelters along the route, a new pedestrian bridge on 90 Avenue S.W., and construction of bus-only lanes on 14 Street S.W. between Southland Drive and 75 Avenue S.W.

READ MORE: 2 Calgary councillors want to halt the southwest BRT

The line is the newest addition to Calgary’s transit network, which includes BRT lines in all four quadrants of the city.

“We’re quite excited, this new service will provide new connections,” said Asif Kurji, the city’s acting manager of transit planning. “It will reduce the number of transfers, it will improve the travel time for customers trying to get to those various destinations.”

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The MAX Yellow BRT line is set to launch on Dec. 23. Mark Matulis/Global News

MAX Yellow becomes the fourth BRT line in Calgary, joining MAX Purple which connects East Hills to the city centre, MAX Teal which connects Westbrook to Douglas Glen and MAX Orange which connects Brentwood to Saddletown.

READ MORE: Southwest Calgary Bus Rapid Transit nears end of the line

MAX Purple, Orange, and Teal launched in November 2018, and according to Kurji, ridership has gone up since.

“They’re still growing and anytime we launch a new service, ridership tends to grow from there,” he says.

Click to play video: 'New MAX rapid transit routes begin in Calgary'
New MAX rapid transit routes begin in Calgary

The new line has been met with controversy since being announced in March 2018. Some businesses along 14 Street in Glenmore Landing have moved or closed due to limited accessibility during the construction phase.

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READ MORE: Construction on Calgary’s 14 Street hitting local business owners hard

According to Anne Cataford, manager of major transit projects for the City of Calgary, most of the construction is now cleared and complete — at least for this year.

“Next year we’ll be back finishing up some fo our cleanup work, we’ve also got some paving and some other work that will carry over,” Cataford said.

The completion of the projects means changes to 21 existing bus routes in the city.

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