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4 Calgary, AB Public Transportation Options

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 at 12:54pm.

Public Transportation in Calgary

Residents of Calgary live in a bustling city with plenty of year-round entertainment. From Calgary's best shopping destinations and boutiques to dining, concerts, outdoor sports, and indoor activities during the winter, those who move to Calgary can find something to do throughout the year. While residents can certainly drive from destination to destination, the city offers numerous public transportation options that eliminate the stress of driving and finding parking at each venue.

Calgary Transit Buses

Calgary Transit is the largest public transportation option in Calgary. The company began in 1909 with streetcars. At the time, only 25.7 kilometres of track were constructed because the city only needed to serve a community of 30,000 residents. It wasn't until 1932 when the first fuel buses were introduced to help residents get around when streetcars could not serve them.

By the 1970s, streetcars had been phased out completely, and diesel buses joined the Calgary Transit fleet. The last streetcar has been preserved by the city Heritage Park.

Today, over 3,000 employees keep Calgary's bus system moving 365 days a year. Every corner of the city is served by Calgary Transit, with over 160 routes and over 6,000 bus stops. Better still, pets are welcome for free on the buses if they are leashed and well-behaved!

Calgary Transit Buses Ticket Costs

  • Cash Fares (One time use, valid for 90 min): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $3.50 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $2.40 / Children (Aged 5 and under) - Free
  • Day Pass (Valid from the time of purchase until the end of service that day): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $11.00 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $8.00
  • Monthly Pass (Valid for 1 calendar month): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $109.00 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $79.00
  • Airport: $11.00
  • Low Income Monthly Pass: $5.45 to $54.50 per month (TBD by Calgary Transit)
  • Senior Yearly Pass (Ages 65 and older): $145
  • Senior Low-Income Yearly Pass (Ages 65 and older): $25

CTrain

CTrain is also part of the Calgary Transit system of public transportation. When the streetcars were in the process of being phased out and replaced by diesel busses, the city knew another mode of transportation would be required. While busses are efficient, they must still move with the flow of normal traffic.

In 1978, contractors officially broke ground and began to develop the first 10.9 kilometres of the CTrain system. The CTrain was opened to the public on May 25, 1981. Today, two lines make up the light rail system to efficiently move people to and from downtown Calgary.

Nearly 60 kilometres of track make up the two lines. The Red Line serves the southern and northwestern areas of Calgary with 35 kilometres of dedicated track. The Blue Line covers the northeastern and western areas of the city on 25.7 kilometres of track. In downtown, the CTrain is completely free for everyone to ride!

CTrain Ticket Costs

  • Cash Fares (One time use, valid for 90 min): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $3.50 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $2.40 / Children (Aged 5 and under) - Free
  • Day Pass (Valid from the time of purchase until the end of service that day): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $11.00 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $8.00
  • Monthly Pass (Valid for 1 calendar month): Adult (Ages 18 and over) - $109.00 / Youth (Ages 6-17) - $79.00
  • Airport: $11.00
  • Low Income Monthly Pass: $5.45 to $54.50 per month (TBD by Calgary Transit)
  • Senior Yearly Pass (Ages 65 and older): $145
  • Senior Low Income Yearly Pass (Ages 65 and older): $25

Lime

Lime is available in over 100 cities around the world, including Calgary. Users can download the Lime app to reserve their e-bike or e-scooter. Lime is dedicated to creating a greener future and strives to do so by bringing green transportation options to cities and metropolitan areas. Rather than using gas-powered vehicles and contributing to air pollution, Lime allows riders to navigate their area with green technology.

Lime is also partnered with Uber, so riders may use either app to locate their e-bike or e-scooter. After creating an account, riders can reserve one of the transportation options available at a central hub. They may use the e-bike or e-scooter for as long as they want. Their credit or debit card is charged for the amount of time the green vehicle is used. Riders can return the e-bike or e-scooter to any hub around the city, making Lime a convenient transportation method for exploring and/or running errands.

Lime Ride Costs

  • $1.00 start fee
  • 5 Minutes: $0.75
  • 10 Minutes: $1.50
  • 15 Minutes: $2.25
  • 30 Minutes: $4.50
  • 1 Hour: $9.00

Rideshare Options

Calgary has strict ridesharing guidelines to protect citizens as they navigate the city. For example, Calgary does not permit ridesharing companies to conduct their own background checks. Drivers for rideshare programs undergo the same rigorous review process as the city's taxi and cab drivers (also known as operators for the Transportation Network Company).

Uber is currently the only ridesharing app that meets Calgary's guidelines, meaning visitors and residents are limited to this one provider. Currently, Uber offers UberX, Uber Comfort, UberXL, and Premier options within the city. The Uber website offers a free estimator tool to determine what the cost for a ride will be. Users may also utilize the app to get real-time updates.

Explore Calgary Today

The number of activities that Calgary offers its residents and the large transportation networks available make it easy for residents and tourists to enjoy Calgary's many things to do 365 days a year. Whether one wants to visit the newest restaurant or complete a typical errand like grocery shopping, the public transportation options in Calgary make it easy to get from point A to B.

If a personal vehicle is more your speed, though, check out our guide to driving in Calgary. Our guide to downtown driving times from Calgary's outlying neighbourhoods may be useful, too.

If you're interested in Calgary real estate, contact Justin Havre & Associates of RE/MAX First with Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help you find your Calgary dream home today.

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