The start of a new year has inspired me to start some new adventures. Of course “adventure” is a relative thing, so anyone expecting me to blog about travelling the world or bungee jumping will be sadly disappointed.
Starting this blog is actually my first adventure because I’ve never blogged before. The desire to write about something new and interesting (to me) is the motivation for the next phase of my adventure, and it will be the subject of this segment of my blog. I have decided to check out all the LRT stations that are part of Calgary’s transit system.
In December 2012, Calgary transit opened the new west leg of the C-Train with much fan-fare and an inaugural drive by the mayor. A lot of people took the opportunity to ride the new west LRT for free and check out the new facilities for a day, and on Monday December 10, 2012, the morning commute changed for a lot of people living on the west side of the city. Whether those changes were for the better depends upon whose opinion you listen to, and I do not plan to wade in on the politics or controversies of public transit in Calgary. No one solution works for everyone and hopefully some adjustments can be made to optimize the schedules and routes as problems are revealed.
I’ve ridden portions of the LRT in the past as a commuter, but not recently, so I know that even the stations I think I am familiar with will hold some surprises. And most importantly, I’m not taking the LRT as part of a daily commute, but exploring them with the eye of a tourist—a tourist in my own city.
On January 7, 2013 I rode the entire length of the rail from 69th St SW all the way to the last station in ‘Saddletowne’. I had never even heard of Saddletowne, but I got there in less than an hour. This trip will be the first of many and it gave me some insight into the diversity of the stations and the city as a whole. My goal is to check out the LRT stations individually (new and old) and to write about them over the coming weeks and months, starting with the newest ones in the west and travelling the whole line to the north east. I will take some pictures and share my thoughts about what I do or do not like about the stations I visit.
I thought this would be a solitary quest, but as soon as I mentioned my idea of “riding the rails” it caught the interest of other people, so on my first cross-city adventure I was accompanied by my sister-in-law and my niece. Other people may join me for future explorations, I hope they do, but the thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are mine.
Someday the scope of my explorations may expand beyond the west to northeast stations. A quick look at the C-Train route maps tells me there is an equally mysterious northwest line starting somewhere named ‘Crowfoot’ and extending all the way south to ‘Somerset-Bridlewood’.
Oh, the places I will go. Won’t you come along?