The Edmonton Light Rail Transit has two commercial lines: Capital and Metro Line. It has connections with the city´s bus lines. The system is technically open all day long, operating from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. all week long. The price of a standard ticket for adults is of 3.25 CAD. It is also valid for buses. It is not possible to make a connection to the airport via the metro, but you can transfer to them via bus lines.
Edmonton is one of the five biggest cities of Canada with its 800 thousand inhabitants. Even though it has a downtown area and it is a quite developed city, Edmonton maintains its country roots and cowboy origins, since it is surrounded by large areas where livestock is kept.
Additionally, it belongs to the important Runner Calgary-Edmonton region. This is one of the four regions which comprise a bigger region where 50% of the Canadian population lives.
Also, due to the fact that of being the capital of the Alberta state, Alberta transformed and became one the most important areas in the territory in terms of culture, education, and economics. Its population growth spiked after 1947, after the famous oil boom.
This spike in the population growth was an important benchmark for Edmonton, since the city became what it is nowadays after this event.
In just a few years, this city turned from a peaceful town to the west of Canada into a huge metropolis. Such a transformation resulted in a growing demand for more public service coverage, with special emphasis on a demand for public transportation.
On 1962, the city´s authorities hired a national firm with the purpose of researching the possibility of the construction of a massive transportation system, which would satisfy the needs of the new citizens.
On 1974, after many studies had been done, it was decided that the project would begin to be executed, which would consist on the construction of a fast tram of middle-sized capacity, and it had a budget of 64 million Canadian dollars.
Four years later, in 1978, the now called Light Rail Transit began working, having a track that was barely 6.9 kilometers long. Since then, this means of transportation has been gradually growing. Currently, it already has 24 kilometers of railway, 18 stations, two operational lines and another line under construction.
The Light Rail Transit system has two commercial lines.
The first line, called the Capital Line, which goes from the Northeast of Edmonton to the south of the city, and its journey goes through the downtown area, covering a distance of 21 kilometers, and it has 15 stations.
The second line, which is simply called the Metro Line, and transits alongside the first line since it runs through the same rails, goes towards the Northwest of the downtown area of the city. This line´s journey has a length of 16 kilometers, and it has stops on 14 stations.
Even though light rail trains tend to transit at surface-level, the Light Rail Transit transits in two ways: at surface-level tracks, and on underground tracks. This feature substantially increased the cost of the construction.
Some of the Light Rail Transit stations have connections with the bus lines that transit the city of Edmonton. Below, you will see a detailed list of stops where you can make a transfer:
The Light Rail Transit that is convenient enough to satisfy the high transportation demand on Edmonton, even though is not open all day long.
The trains begin to offer service beginning at 5:00 a.m., and the keep operating uninterruptedly until 1:00 a.m. The schedule remains the same through the week, as well as during Saturdays and Sundays. However, the train frequency varies depending on the day.
During peak hours, which are between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., the rolling stock stops at the stations each five or 10 minutes during the journey that goes from Clareview to downtown Edmonton.
The same journey takes 15 minutes during off-peak hours.
Meanwhile, on the one hand, the vehicles that depart from Century Park towards downtown Edmonton arrive every five minutes during peak hours. On the other hand, during off-peak hours, the frequency is of 10 minutes. After 10:00 p.m., the units arrive each 15 minutes.
The Light Rail Transit has an integrated fare system that is managed by the transportation authorities of the city of Edmonton. This means that the tickets and reloadable cards for the public transportation are valid for both the light rail and the bus lines. Below, the different payment options will be shown:
These passes are for young people between 13 and 17 years of age. It includes discounts for some of the fares.
The adult passes are for all users between the ages of 18 and 64. This is the most standard fare.
The Senior Passes are for passengers aged 65 and older.
Note: Children under 12 can travel for free if they travel with an adult. If they travel alone, they will have to pay for the youth passes.
People with disabilities can receive special annual passes. In such cases, they will need to contact the firm ETS directly, which is in charge of the light rail service.
The Light Rail Transit does not have any station that disembarks directly into the Edmonton International Airport. However, it is possible to take a bus from the Airport Express line at Century Park station, which will take you directly to the airport.
The line can be identified with the number 747, and it begins to offer service even before the time when the metro network starts operations. The first vehicles depart the stop at 4:10 a.m., while the last units depart the stops around midnight. The price of the ride is of 5 Canadian dollars. There are no stops in-between the bus station and the airport.
The journey is quite short, taking between 20 and 25 minutes to complete it. During the journey, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the meadows on the outskirts of Edmonton, and even use the available free Wi-Fi.
In case that you wish to board the units of the 747 line from the airport, you will have to depart from door number 8, where, right in front of it, the buses stop. You will also find taxi lines, in case that you desire to have a more comfortable ride, and rent-a-car agencies, in case that you want more autonomy during your stay in the city.
Among the works that are currently being done by the Light Rail Transit authorities includes the construction of the Valley Line, which will have 27 kilometers of railway length. Many of the facilities are currently being constructed.
According to the metro´s blueprints, this line will go from the southeast of the city to the west, beginning at the Mill Woods Neighborhood, and ending at the Lewis Farm region, crossing through the downtown area.
The line will be constructed through two phases. The first phase will consist on the construction 13.1 kilometers of tracks, where the trains will depart from Mill Woods towards the downtown area. The passengers that board this line will be able to transfer to the Capital and Metro lines at Churchill station. The works began on April 22nd, 2016, and the network is planned to be inaugurated on 2020.
According to the estimations done by the project´s authorities, the Valley Line will transport 100,000 passengers per day once the line is completed.
Besides the Valley Line, there are expansions scheduled for the existing lines. The construction of these expansions are currently in progress.
For instance, on the Capital Line, there are currently works being done to extend its tracks towards the northeast and the south. In the former case, 2.1 kilometers will be added to the system, as well as a station on the Gorman Towne Center sector. Meanwhile, at the south, four additional stations will be added, as well as 4.5 kilometers of tracks. With the southern expansion, the metro will reach the Anthony Henday Drive route.
If you visit Edmonton, you cannot miss the Francis Winspear Music Center. This is a Performing Arts Center opened on 1997, very close to the Churchill Station. Its name comes from Dr. Francis G. Winspear as a way to honor him, who donated 6 million Canadian dollars for the construction of the building. This was the largest private donation in Canada´s history. In this place, you will be able to enjoy theater plays, symphonic orchestra performances, ballet, and other scenic performances.The performances available change constantly, so you will always find something new to watch.
Meanwhile, near Corona station, you will GTFO Escape Entertainment Game Center, an escape room complex for adults, who can play by finding clues that allow them to escape from the different rooms. This is an attraction in Edmonton that has gotten a lot of good reviews due to how fun its facilities are, where teamwork is fundamental. It is an ideal place to escape from the daily routine, and it is a way to explore new ways to socialize. Without a doubt, this is quite a unique experience that you should get to know.
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