The C-train Slog

Have I mentioned here how much my daily commute downtown is my very least favorite (and that’s putting it mildly) part of my day?

For those of you that haven’t actually seen where I live in Calgary – I live in the South East quadrant at the far end of the city. It’s a beautiful lake community, with a ton if brand new amenities just being opened across the road from our home… Save-On-Foods, a boutique English Pub, Shoppers Drug Mart, and a 15 plex Cineplex Theatre opening next year, and so much more. I love our neighborhood.

But transit is ridiculous. If parking wasn’t a average of $500 a month in the downtown core, I’d deal with the heavy traffic on the Deerfoot.

But, instead, I drive 15 minutes to the SW part of Calgary, pay $73 a month for the privilege of having a parking spot somewhere in the massive lot at the last station, Somerset, and climb aboard the C-Train for another 40 minutes into the core. Often times, standing the whole way there in packed, sardine-like in the extremely aging cars that carries us all to work.

But, on many occasions the commute is extended by the cars breaking down, people getting in the way of doors closing because they couldn’t possibly wait for the next train despite the fact that there’s no place for them to truly fit, or some numbskull who decided to drive in drives into the train. Yep. That happens a lot, too.

I’ve personally also seen two bodies, (suicide-by-train most likely), people not giving their seat up for elderly or the pregnant, and even all-out fist-fights when tempers flare in the sweltering heat during the summer.

Oh. It’s good times on this commute. I’m hoping a South East solution comes sooner rather than later – Calgary desperately needs it.

YOUR TURN! Do you have an easy commute?


  1. 1

    Michy says

    I have to say, Calgary Transit has an excellent reputation for providing quality service to its riders. Its not Transits faults most of the time its human error!Perhaps leaving later or earlier will help your commute anxiety. Tis the season… lets be Merry!!!

  2. 2


    Thanks for popping by Michy! I’m going to have to agree to disagree on this one. The transit people are great, but the machines and service level aren’t adequate. I’ve tried leaving at 6:15am from Somerset with the same issues, and back then I left work at 3pm. There’s not much more variance than that… They need more trains. And, the need to service the whole SE quadrant, which currently has no service via trains at all.

    Anyhow, Merry Christmas! Hope your commute is better than mine!

  3. 3

    Jo says

    I have to back you on this one Tanya – not from personal experience, but from what I’ve heard from my coworkers who take the C-Train. Hearing their not-so-good experiences is what made the first consideration in our home-buying decision where the house was located in relation to transit. So I have a decent 20-30 minute express bus ride into the downtown core – a pure commuter run. I actively avoided all locations where I’d have to get on the C-train. The transit folks are great – they have to cope with alot and my experience is that they are all friendly and helpful. As you say, it is the infrastructure that needs improvement.

  4. 4


    Good comment Jo! With Calgary Transit running the BRT #302 from the South Campus Hospital now, it is giving the deep SE the option to avoid the trains all together. Transit can only go where the money takes them. People just have to be patient until there is enough money to help service the SE quadrant infastructure. Until then, we wait and think about how much better we have it than places like Toronto or Vancouver, whose peoples commutes are hours.

  5. 5



    so many times I have debated writing a book about Transit, the terrible times and routes and of course the interesting people one encounters on the daily commute. I totally get your frustration every day lol

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