The debate continued Wednesday at City Hall, where the Bus Rapid Transit project was contested by outreach group, Ready To Engage.
The four legs of the project are set for the north and south parts of the City, along with 17th Ave., but the most highly contested portion is the Southwest BRT.
Council originally alloted between $56 to $65 million for the project, which is much more than the original estimate of $40 million made in 2010.
Now, Ready To Engage, feels their tax dollars will be thrown under the bus says volunteer Doug Fraser.
“Diane Colley-Urquhart, the councillor for the area was on a radio station early this week and said common number is now 85 million dollars,” Fraser said.
“Now if you take the $65 million with the 50 per cent plus or minus, you get into the hundreds of millions.”
Despite the estimated increase, Sean Somers with the City’s Transportation Department still says the project for all four legs of the BRT will stay within budget.
“The big sort of caveat in my mind is that we’re still going to be able to deliver the program which is the four legs for that $208 million so arguably still within the budget,” Somers said.
Others are concerned the four year construction of the new bus lanes along 14th St. and 90th Ave. will increase traffic further. Many people like Lesley Farrar, are in support of re-routing the BRT entirely.
“Take into consideration new developments in the communities,” said Farrar.
“Specifically with the ring road, we should put together a transit system that will work, a system that will improve transit times to downtown.”
Despite the cancellation of public meetings, the City is still working to allow input through an online portal to hear any concerns at engage.calgary.ca.
City officials say the BRT will be a more reliable and faster method of travel for transit users and could increase ridership by up to 30 thousand more people.