The Province of Alberta announced earlier today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to explore the feasibility of a passenger rail service, extending from the Calgary International Airport through to Banff, along the existing CP rail line.
In February 2019, the towns of Banff, Canmore and Cochrane, the City of Calgary and Improvement District 9 released the results of an initial feasibility study (banff.ca/masstransit). The study was commissioned to examine mass transit as a way to reduce the number of low-occupant private vehicles along the corridor and in the national park. The results demonstrated that mass transit was feasible.
A mass transit system connecting communities in this corridor promises major economic and labour force mobility benefits for all communities along its path, as well as increased job opportunities, labour accessibility, and mobility for all Albertans.
Bow Valley leaders are united in a belief that regional mass transit is critical to the sustainability of the communities, and an enormous economic, environmental and social opportunity for Alberta.
“It’s exciting to see the hard work we’ve put in over the last two years noticed by both the Provincial and Federal Governments. Passenger rail will revolutionize travel in the Bow Valley region, taking pressure off of busy roadways. This is an important step towards not only economic recovery, but also potential economic growth of our community and the entire region.”
Mayor Jeff Genung, Town of Cochrane
“The return of passenger rail connecting Calgary and Banff has long been identified as a way to address traffic congestion on the highway and in the Bow Valley communities. Mass transit would also help address housing challenges, labour mobility, and environmental protection, and it would be a fantastic experience for people visiting Banff, where the best experiences are had outside a vehicle.”
Mayor Karen Sorenson, Town of Banff
“The Town of Canmore continues to be a strong advocate in support of developing efficient bus or rail public transit between our region and Calgary. This will advance our economic and environmental resilience, while helping to reduce traffic congestion and GHG emissions resulting from individual vehicle travel through the corridor.”
Mayor John Borrowman, Town of Canmore
“Growing the travel and tourism economy is an important part of Calgary’s comeback, and we are looking forward to examining this long-discussed option more deeply.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi, City of Calgary