More frequent peak CTrain service and the return of some four-car trains are among Calgary Transit system changes that kick in Monday.
The changes, part of Calgary Transit’s regular quarterly route and schedule adjustments, reflect recovering ridership levels as the city continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, transit spokeswoman Amanda Bradley explained.
“It’s partly to do with ridership, and also just the resources we have available and whether we can manage them or not. We also have to balance whether we want more cars on each train, or fewer cars but more frequent service,” Bradley said.
“As we get more resources, we can put service back as much as possible.”
Calgary Transit launched four-car CTrain service in 2015, allowing an extra 200 passengers per trip, a move intended to combat overcrowding on trains.
The city agency returned to three-car service after the pandemic began in 2020, but is adding the extra car back for morning and after rush hours on Red Line trips from Somerset-Bridlewood to Tuscany stations.
That’s because system ridership is rebounding to about 80 percent of the level it was in early 2020, before COVID-19 shut down office operations and kept the majority of transit riders at home.
“Some weeks it’s a little more, some weeks it’s a little less,” Bradley said. “We hope that it adds up. We’re monitoring it and preparing for how we’ll need to adjust depending on where the workforce ends up going.”
In addition to the additional train car, Monday’s transit changes will include more frequent train service, with morning and afternoon peak frequency of three to five minutes on both the Red and Blue lines. From noon to 8 p.m., service will be every 10 minutes, while the system will maintain trips every 15 minutes later in the evening and into the early morning.
There are also changes big and small to dozens of bus routes, many of which are in the city’s southwest; a complete list of changes can be found online at calgarytransit.com.
“(Four times a year) we look at our routes and schedules and see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes we want to make changes to improve schedule adherence or connections between routes,” Bradley said.