Transportation infrastructure and Calgary’s business competitiveness 

Posted by: Kaitlyn Mason on July 28, 2017

How is Calgary using infrastructure development to stimulate growth for business? Read this blog from our Policy team to find out.

When it comes to business competitiveness, transportation infrastructure tends to be an issue that takes a backseat to cutting red tape, reducing taxes, and reaching new markets.

However, investing in infrastructure drives economic growth by engineering the environment essential for trade and commerce to take place. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, congestion and city commuting is an issue that strategic infrastructure investment can help solve.

Poor transportation infrastructure means employees loose out on productive work hours, transportation costs go up, public transit becomes overcrowded, and pollution in the city increases. 

So, how is Calgary doing in terms of transportation infrastructure?  

Transportation infrastructure in Calgary 

Calgarians – individuals and businesses alike – are impacted by transportation bottlenecks every day.

According to the Canadian Automobile Association, the two largest bottlenecks in Calgary (both on Crowchild Trail) cost city travellers an additional $4.34 million in annual delay costs.

While Calgarians may face less burdens from bottlenecks than those living in Toronto and Montreal, transportation infrastructure in Calgary can be improved. 

Enter the Green Line

Currently, the Green Line is slated to encompass 20 km, cutting through the heart of the city and connecting 16 Avenue N to 126 Avenue SE (also known as "Stage 1"). Construction for Stage 1 is expected to begin in 2020, with the Line being operational in 2026.  

The Green Line will be a significant contributor to the City’s economic growth, and Calgarians quality of life. Initial estimates of the Green Line project suggest that 20,000 construction, professional, and administrative workers will be employed over the ten-year construction period.

Stage 1 of the Line is expected to carry an extra 60,000 to 65,000 Calgarians, support business and employee travel choices for 191,000 existing jobs, connect Calgarians to major activity, employment, and industrial centres outside of the downtown core, all while reducing greenhouse gas emission by 30,000 tonnes of CO2 (the same as 6,000 cars being taken off the road each day). Find out more on the Green Line LRT project.

The Calgary Chamber applauds the City of Calgary, along with the provincial and federal government, for working together to approve and help fund this crucial project.

The project appears to be a major step in the right direction which will help employees get to work and businesses reach their customers, reduce current bottlenecks, link affordable housing to businesses in Calgary, and aid in efforts to reduce pollution.

The Chamber's Policy team includes Director of Policy and Government Relations, Zoe Addington, and Economic Policy Analyst, Franco Terrazzano.