Stantec-designed Bus Rapid Transit corridor opens in Calgary
The MAX Purple corridor, one of three new MAX BRT lines in the city, has transformed over 3 km of 17 Avenue SE.
In November the City of Calgary began running service on its three new MAX bus rapid transit (BRT) lines (Max Purple, MAX Teal and MAX Orange) with a fourth line expected to come online in 2019.
The MAX Purple corridor with dedicated lanes in the middle of the roadway, the design led by Stantec, has transformed over 3 km of 17 Avenue SE, and provides Calgarians with an improvement in the speed and reliability of transit operations in the corridor, as well as a safer pedestrian experience.
“In designing the MAX Purple corridor, we considered not just the transit experience but the experience of all road users and the wider community,” says Dave Thatcher, senior principal at Stantec. “By taking a 360-degree view of the area and considering future development, we’ve provided a solution that will improve 17 Avenue SE immediately, and into the future.”
Calgary’s 17 Avenue SE has historically had a significant number of pedestrians and transit customers, though the facilities to accommodate them were in need of enhancement. Narrow sidewalks were widened, and a buffer was added between the pedestrian realm and the roadway. In Phase I of the route, the BRT travels along a median transitway through the International Avenue business district—home to more than 400 businesses. The full length of the MAX Purple Line is home to 60,000 Calgary residents.
Phase 2 of MAX Purple is a dedicated facility that runs parallel to 17 Avenue and includes 2 km of pathway that pass over the WID Canal, Deerfoot Trail, and the Bow River, providing several direct connections to the City’s extensive pathway system. Initial plans have also been developed to offer dedicated on-street bike accommodation on the parallel corridors.
This project will serve as an example for other jurisdictions in Canada on how to cost-effectively enhance transit while improving the public realm. The project was led by the City of Calgary with funding from the Alberta and Federal Governments.