Calgary Downtown Circulator Sketch

A PRT system could connect downtown LRT to destinations north and south of LRT, possibly along 3rd Ave and 12th Ave. A 300 meter walking radius is shown in the first cut approximation below, with 7 km (4.2 mi) one-way guideway, 10 stations, and capital cost less than $60M USD/CAD:

Calgary’s downtown holds 40 to 50% of Calgary jobs for a total of more than 300,000 jobs. Downtown is dense with 20 and 30-story buildings (Bing birdseye view of downtown Calgary, looking west):


  • The high job density is helpful for a PRT circulator
  • For a PRT downtown circulator, a travel demand forecast must show that walking will not be reduced. There are many folks who walk 10 to 20 blocks to jobs in downtown.
  • Short commutes coming from south of downtown would benefit greatly from using PRT to cross the railroad tracks below 9th Avenue. Some pedestrian underpasses assist these pedestrian commutes, but the tunnels aren’t very fun. South of downtown features significant housing, so stations S9, S8, S7, and S6 are well-placed. In addition, an extension of the system to serve the 17th Avenue mixed-use “red mile” in the future might be warranted.
  • Given that parking costs upwards of $20 per day in downtown, it is expected that PRT fare structure should yield significant annual farebox revenue.
  • The Eau Claire area of northern downtown will see new entertainment, retail, and residential, hence stations S2 and S3 are well-placed.
  • A new pedestrian bridge to cross the river near 7th St. SW is planned. Station S1 is very well-placed for this new bridge.
  • The extensive “Plus 15” skywalk system downtown presents easy and “fun” design challenges for PRT guideway to hop over or slip under. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%2B15).
  • Underground LRT may be coming to Stephen Ave / 8th Ave SW.
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