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On Saturday morning, 26 June 2004, Calgary, Alberta Mayor
Dave Bronconnier officially opened the long-awaited $45-million
southern extension of C-Train, the city's LRT system. The
opening included the inauguration of the Shawnessy and
Somerset-Bridlewood C-Train stations.
Construction of the first leg of the city's
LRT system began in 1978. Operations
began in 1981 with one line starting at
Anderson Road and ending at 8 ST. S.W.
This was quickly followed in the 1980s by
major expansions that define the three
major directions of the city's current C-Train service.
Today Calgary Transit (CT) operates a fleet of 116 Siemens-Duwag built LRT railcars that operate on 42.1 kilometres (26.1
miles) of track and serve 36 stations. The system is comprised of
two lines known as route 201 and 202. The 201 line has a north-south orientation reaching from Somerset/Bridlewood in the South
to Dalhousie in the north. The 202 line is oriented east-west,
starting at Whitehorn and ending at 10 St. S.W. (downtown).
Downtown Calgary area is established as a free fare zone in
which it is free to ride the LRT service. However, a fare must be
paid if one is travelling outside the downtown area. Peakhour
service has a 5-minute frequency and offpeak service is offered every 15 minutes.
Calgary's LRT is hailed as a tremendous success for the city.
"CTrain ridership has grown by 93 percent since 1995" Calgary
Transit spokesperson Ron Collins told a Calgary Sun reporter.
"It's really out-paced the growth of the city – we transport over
200,000 riders every weekday on C-Trains alone."
The latest extension to the south line is the second since the line opened in May 1981. The first extension, from Anderson to Fish Creek-Lacombe, opened in October 2001.
In 2003, Dalhousie Station was opened on the C-Train's
northwest leg, and this year the opening of the new South Calgary
extension brings the total number of suburban stations to 25.
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