As the Valley Line LRT continues construction in Southeast Edmonton, the City is looking to lay the groundwork for another major city-building project: the future street-level Centre LRT. Using the same technology as the Valley Line, which will be linked to this new route, the proposed line would connect Strathcona, Downtown, Bonnie Doon and east Edmonton with a fleet of low-floor vehicles.

The project was identified in Edmonton's Long Term Network Plan. The City is now initiating a study that will support the development of a concept plan that includes the recommended route, position of the LRT tracks, stop locations, and bike and pedestrian connections. Four phases of public engagement, beginning this month and continuing through 2018, will give the public the opportunity to provide input regarding their individual travel patterns.

The Centre LRT would use the same low-floor technology as the Valley Line LRT, image via City of Edmonton

"The views of Edmontonians are extremely important during this phase of the study as we investigate potential options for this future LRT route," said Satya Gadidasu, project manager, City of Edmonton. "Understanding what’s important to people when planning LRT, and where they want to go and where they are coming from will help us create a route that works well for Edmontonians."

The City describes its latest evolution in LRT design as an "urban style" network that is fundamentally different from the high-floor LRT system currently in use. The low-floor vehicles will operate with traffic at slower speeds, featuring stops at the level of the sidewalk. The concept plan is scheduled to be presented to Council for approval before the end of 2018, though there is no current timeline for when construction will start.

A four-hour public engagement session was already held on July 12 at the Bonnie Doon Community Hall. A traffic analysis for Whyte and 76 Avenues — two of the streets the City is considering to run the LRT along — will be included in the study. Another two public events are currently scheduled for July 20 from 11 AM to 8 PM at City Hall, and July 22 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the St. Anthony District Archives and Meeting Centre (10425 84 Avenue). Edmontonians are also invited to provide feedback through an online survey, which is accepting responses until August 13.