Calgary Transit 100 Years

Moving Calgarians for 100 Years!

Calgary Transit Centennial Books

Moving people safely, quickly and efficiently. That’s what Calgary Transit has been doing everyday since July 5, 1909, when passengers boarded the first streetcar. It has been responsible for many aspects of Calgary's growth and development.

Calgary in 1909 was an up-and-coming city with a population of 30,000 people. The Calgary Electric Street Car Railway began operating with 16 miles of track and 12 electric streetcars. Its success grew and by 1918, service had extended to outlying communities. It survived

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through the Depression in the 1930s when many North American transit services failed.

Modern buses were introduced in 1932 and streetcars were slowly phased out of the system’s operations throughout the 1940s, replaced by both diesel and electric trolley buses. By the early 1970s, trolley buses had been completely phased out.

Spurred by an Alberta oil boom and The City of Calgary having been awarded the 1988 Olympic Winter games, construction of Calgary’s Light Rail Transit system began in 1978.

Ridership has increased consistently and currently, Calgary Transit’s annual ridership is over 95 million. It has a bus fleet of 850 regular buses and 103 community shuttles.

The CTrain – An Emissions-Free Mode of Transportation

On May 25, 1981, the CTrain first provided service on its 11-kilometre south leg from Anderson Station to 7th Avenue S.W. through the downtown core. Four years later, the northeast leg opened from 7th Avenue, east across the Bow River to Whitehorn Station. In 1987, the northwest leg was completed to the University of Calgary.

In 1990, the northwest leg was extended one kilometre to Brentwood Station. In 2001, a 3.6 kilometre extension south from Anderson Station to Fish Creek-Lacombe Station was opened to provide service to the growing population in the city’s south. Another three kilometres were constructed and opened for service to Dalhousie Station on the northwest line in 2003. One year later, a three kilometre extension on the south line provided service to Somerset-Bridlewood Station. The northeast leg was extended 2.7 kilometres and revenue service to McKnight-Westwinds Station began in December 2007.

Today, the popular CTrain carries over 280,000 passengers every weekday, more than any other light rail system in North America. It encompasses 44 kilometres of double track, 37 CTrain Stations, more than 13,000 park and ride stalls and a fleet of 155 light rail vehicles. Since September 2001, the CTrain’s electricity has been entirely generated by 12 wind turbines making it a 100 per cent emissions free light rail system, the only one of its kind in North America.

In addition, we will be recording our one billionth customer on the CTrain in our centennial year!

Providing Service to People with Disabilities

To meet the needs of Calgarians with disabilities, Access Calgary, a division of Calgary Transit, began operating on July 1, 2001 and currently has 19,000 Calgarians registered.

Winning International Awards

Calgary Transit has worked hard to reduce its impact on the environment. It is the first transit system in North America to have all aspects of its operations registered to the international ISO 14001 standard that specifies processes for controlling and improving an organization’s environmental performance.

Learn more about Calgary Transit's history

City of Calgary - Transportation Department - Calgary Transit
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