West LRT Line Revenue Service begins MondayPosted by: Kenny Chan onDecember 8th, 2012
Today, Alberta Premier Alison Redford along with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta Transportation Minister and former Calgary Alderman Ric McIver were on hand for the opening celebrations of the West LRT line. Speeches by all three of them were full of thank-yous for everyone involved. A big round of applause rang through the Ernest Manning High School gymnasium when former Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier was thanked for having the vision and dream for the West LRT line and for spearheading the project.
Attendees of the celebration at the were treated to popcorn, hot chocolate, stilt walkers and music by the Ernest Manning senior jazz band. A replica Calgary Transit LRT car was made in cake form and was served to the thousands of Calgarians that made it out to the event.
One very special guest was also on hand. George Dorn, a Calgary Transit employee of 48 years, wears badge number 1. George drove the very first C-Train car in 1981 that operated on the south line which ran from 8th street SW and ended at Anderson station. He was at the controls when the northeast line was added in 1985 providing service up to Whitehorn station. When the northwest line was added for the Calgary Olympics, George was once again at the controls of the first C-Train car to run on the line. George wanted to retire recently but Mayor Nenshi jokingly told him that he would have to wait because with the opening of the new line he had one last job to do and that was to drive the first C-Train car on the new West LRT line.
While the West LRT was in operation today, revenue service will not begin until Monday morning. Calgary Transit officials expect about 30,000 passengers on the first day and estimate ridership to eventually reach 45,000.