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LRT Expansion Planning

Considering that the LRT network is radial, it seems like each 'leg' of high floor LRT (NE, S, NW) is expected to see ~100,000 riders, while low floor (W, SE) sees ~65,000. It would be interesting to see how Calgary's splits compare.
To be honest, considering the alignment for the VLW, I would dare say it'll be higher than this number, even. WEM, Oliver and DT are arguably the areas of the city with the highest potential for trip generation.

My bet, for ridership numbers upon completion of the VLW would be somewhere around 200k/day (weekdays), with a reasonably even split between the 3 lines (likely more riders on Capital Line, due to it's length). I wouldn't be shocked if we got to the 400k/day by 2040, which is when the lines are expected to be at their final extension, based on population growth and the addition of the VL Aline.

If you think that it's at around 110k/day before VLSE, and it, alone, is expected to bring around 30k/day, with at least 35k/day expected to be added by VLW (which I believe is very conservative), we'd have a baseline 175k, if ridership doesn't grow at all on the high-floor lines until 2026-27 (which is unrealistic, considering populational growth and densification efforts). If ridership grows proportionally to population on the high floor lines alone, we'd be at around 195k/day by 2027.

I'll spare the whole calculation, but based off populational growth alone, without considering the expansion of the high floor lines, ridership should be at roughly 330k/day by 2040.

To get to the 450k/day, you'd need around 35% on top of this, to come out of Capital and Metro line expansions and any additional densification around the lines. I don't think this is wild by any measure.

If you consider this target for 2050, with a lowered population growth rate (lower immigration and lower bound of natural growth, coming at a total 1.8% a.a.). On population alone, we'd easily be at 400k/day WITHOUT the Metro and Capital lines expansions.

My personal belief: conservatively, we'll hit somewhere closer to 400k/day by 2040 and be over 500k/day by 2050. There's a lot going on to favor this: by 2040 Blatchford should be fairly developed; NAIT, MacEwan and UofA have aggressive expansion plans; there's a deliberate push densification around the LRT, and it's very likely that populational growth is not uniform through the city, and it grows more on denser areas; We have limited capacity to absorb additional traffic, and as congestion worsens, more people will start considering rapid transit;
 
1 - Someone here had mentioned that apparently, weekday usage, especially during business hours, which is what these estimates generally are for, had already reached pre-pandemic levels before the Valley Line.


2 - If you consider that population should be at least 2.5x what it was in 2019, in some very conservative estimates, and that LRT coverage will have almost tripled in area (Valley Line completion, expansions on the Capital and Metro Lines should also be done), these numbers are not too far off, I guess.

The Valley Line alone will probably be enough to increase at least 80% over that 2019 number, once complete (adding Oliver and WEM to the network will probably be a gamechanger). Blatchford should be substantially more developed by then, as well.
ets was one of, if not the first, systems to reach pre pandemic levels. (North America)
 
1 - Someone here had mentioned that apparently, weekday usage, especially during business hours, which is what these estimates generally are for, had already reached pre-pandemic levels before the Valley Line.


2 - If you consider that population should be at least 2.5x what it was in 2019, in some very conservative estimates, and that LRT coverage will have almost tripled in area (Valley Line completion, expansions on the Capital and Metro Lines should also be done), these numbers are not too far off, I guess.

The Valley Line alone will probably be enough to increase at least 80% over that 2019 number, once complete (adding Oliver and WEM to the network will probably be a gamechanger). Blatchford should be substantially more developed by then, as well.
Don't forget the 5000 people on the bonnie doon site. 2000 housing units in Strathern, and the 1000 + units at Holyrood.
 
Don't forget the 5000 people on the bonnie doon site. 2000 housing units in Strathern, and the 1000 + units at Holyrood.
I didn't specifically mention these because there's a lot less certainty on these or they are smaller, individually, but they fall under the "push to densification around the stations" that I mentioned. It falls into the same category as the other TODs, such as Northlands redevelopment, north Glenora, Jasper Place, MWTC, the remainder of Century Park, Belvedere, etc. Blatchford, being a whole neighbourhood, is alone bigger than almost all of these together, albeit slow (hence why I don't really envision it reaching its full potential any time before 2050, unless it speeds up drastically), and that is the only reason why I mentioned it specifically.
 
I didn't specifically mention these because there's a lot less certainty on these or they are smaller, individually, but they fall under the "push to densification around the stations" that I mentioned. It falls into the same category as the other TODs, such as Northlands redevelopment, north Glenora, Jasper Place, MWTC, the remainder of Century Park, Belvedere, etc. Blatchford, being a whole neighbourhood, is alone bigger than almost all of these together, albeit slow (hence why I don't really envision it reaching its full potential any time before 2050, unless it speeds up drastically), and that is the only reason why I mentioned it specifically.
One is literally being built as we speak. Morogaurd and the city seem to be very tight, so I fully expect to see Bonnie Doon move forward at a slow but steady pace….

Then there was Strathearn. #%*]
 
One is literally being built as we speak. Morogaurd and the city seem to be very tight, so I fully expect to see Bonnie Doon move forward at a slow but steady pace….
The one being built is, by itself, too small to be mentioned specifically on a calculation of the scope I was making (city-wide, considering the current trend on immigration and natural growth of around 40-50k people/year), but as I said, I did not ignore their existence on my analysis. I do understand that you live in the area, so it is something that is closer to you, and impacts your life more directly. That calculation was very generalized, to give a sense of how realistic achieving 450k/day riders is.

If I were to make a detailed one, I'd have to go through the whole extent of major projects in DT, Stadium, Oliver, Garneau, Bonnie Down, Millwoods, North Glenora, Jasper Place, Century Park, Bonnie Down, Strathearn, etc... It's not only a lot of work, but a rough estimate put the total sum of KNOWN units potentially being added in these at around 30000, which would probably result in close to 40000 people. That's about only 35% higher than Blatchford, which is also a neighborhood designed with transit an active transportation in mind, so likely to generate more trips/person than the average.
 

End of year update.
Great to see lots on the move!

Hope the renewal program tackles some station redesigns in the next 5 years for the capital line downtown.

Also, sheesh this photo is beautiful.

E5ED1D6C-6E61-4BCF-874D-B5AD71D08992.jpeg
 
Lots of new pics! Our LRT program is quite impressive. I wish I wish that the city would put some pressure on the Prov and Feds for funding for Metro Phase 2….its has to be well over $2B for the CN bridge, 4.5km of track and 4 stations…..yeah $20M is allocated for property acquisition but……
 
Is there still time to convince the city to grade-separate the crossing at Castle Downs Road and 153 Ave? Considering the tracks have to cross the southbound lanes of Castle Downs Road AND all lanes of 153 Ave on a slow approach into the station, and then crosses back into the median, all at grade in the existing plan.
 

End of year update.
It looks like the plan is to open one of the stations for now, but not the other. From the link:

Final work and signal testing is anticipated to be complete in December 2023. Once complete, the new NAIT/Blatchford Market Station will open for service in early 2024. The opening of Blatchford Gate Station has been deferred to a later date as ridership demand near the station does not yet meet the City’s Transit Service Standards.
 
Is there still time to convince the city to grade-separate the crossing at Castle Downs Road and 153 Ave? Considering the tracks have to cross the southbound lanes of Castle Downs Road AND all lanes of 153 Ave on a slow approach into the station, and then crosses back into the median, all at grade in the existing plan.
Probably. After the success of the post tensioned sections on the VLW, I would assume that it's an option to push for a similar design that would run from Walker Yard to until after the 127th St crossing.

Getting approval for an elevated section would be far easier than it was for VLSE because of the discourse around traffic these days. Elevated guideways also make more sense for the high floor line than the low floor. I'm a big fan of urban metro systems when they're low floor vehicles, but after seeing Calgary's compared to the VLSE, I don't want to replicate that here.

I'm still not a big fan of above grade stations, but if this line is going to Nakî, it is going to drive a bunch of riders to the core from St.Albert from day 1. Elevated stations allow for 80kmh service for long stretches. Travel time from Nakî to MacEwan or Churchill would be shortened significantly compared to the current plan, this is important as the Metro Line aims to double as commuter rail in a sense.

I think it's also safe to say that elevated construction would be far less disruptive to vehicles. I personally don't care if they block off the entire section of road during construction, but some of the most annoying and loud voices do.
 
Probably. After the success of the post tensioned sections on the VLW, I would assume that it's an option to push for a similar design that would run from Walker Yard to until after the 127th St crossing.

Getting approval for an elevated section would be far easier than it was for VLSE because of the discourse around traffic these days.

Seriously, I really hope (and I’m quite optimistic) that after seeing elevated rail implemented here in Edmonton, a lot of locals will be convinced of its value for future LRT expansions. Already, it’s a phenomenal experience at Davies, but it will get even more exposure once the West LRT opens, and a lot of Edmontonians might fall in love with our own SkyTrain.
 
Seriously, I really hope (and I’m quite optimistic) that after seeing elevated rail implemented here in Edmonton, a lot of locals will be convinced of its value for future LRT expansions. Already, it’s a phenomenal experience at Davies, but it will get even more exposure once the West LRT opens, and a lot of Edmontonians might fall in love with our own SkyTrain.

I hope that Kingsway and Bonnie Doon will be rebuilt as elevated stations someday. In the case of the latter, it probably makes sense to just elevate Avonmore too, rather than have the trains go down only to go back up for Davies. And I hope the city ends up doing the Ellerslie Station elevated too. I have a feeling there will be talks of burying or elevating the Valley Line between 124th St and Quarters in a few decades.
 
I have a feeling there will be talks of burying or elevating the Valley Line between 124th St and Quarters in a few decades.
Surface level trams work better for the designed purpose than on the stretch from Bonnie Doon to Millwoods. You also don't want low floor trains in a tunnel (like the frankensubway that Calgary is planning) because of the lower capacity compared to the high floor trains.

The Valley Line won't be buried or elevated in the city core because it's a tram. That is good.
We already have a subway with what's closer to the correct type of rolling stock for the task.
 

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