PHOTOS: Calgary Transit all but empty with threat of coronavirus

Journalist Fabian Arias-Alvarado took a lonely ride on Calgary Transit, photographing the desolation along a typically bustling Red Line.

On a typical day, Calgary Transit’s LRT ridership exceeds 300,000.

Stations would be bustling with foot traffic and a steady stream of commuters popping on and off of CTrain cars.

PHOTOS BY FABIAN ARIAS-ALVARADO

Canyon Meadows train station on March 24.

With the threat of coronavirus spread, much of that traffic has all but disappeared.

Earlier this week, I travelled the typical route I would take to school at SAIT. Only, it was anything but typical.

An empty train car going northbound on the Red Line.

What was once a normal Calgary commute for thousands has become a lonely ride for those few still using public transportation to get to work or doing essential travel.

Some people seem confused. The silence, and the vibe of uncertainty, has taken over the whole experience riding transit.

Many Calgarians have the opportunity to work from home. That’s been encouraged as a means of flattening the curve of COVID-19 spread.

Anderson train station on March 24.

The daily dynamics of the city have been altered and the everyday life of people has been perhaps forever changed due to the COVID-19. Daily habits and routines are not the same for thousands of Calgarians.

A Calgary transit commuter in Heritage station on March 24.

Trains with nearly empty cars, still come and go every 10 to 15 minutes to take the handful of commuters using Calgary Transit to their destinations.

Transit is taking every precaution to ensure that cars are cleaned and sanitized regularly to ensure the protection of riders.

Measures are also being taken on buses to ensure limited contact with drivers and riders.

Chinook LRT station on March 24.

Stations that are usually very crowded during peak hours are now deserted.

Instead of the sounds of a busy commuting crowd, often the only thing heard is the station reminder… In this case, “Chinook Station.”

A lone passenger gets off at Victoria Park / Stampede station on March 24.

While there are few riders, those aboard city trains are trying to stay away from each other to avoid potential COVID-19 infection. Physical distancing is on everyone’s mind and may play a role in the reluctance to board Calgary Transit.

Calgarians at City Hall train station on March 24.

Even though there are still people outside using different means of transportation, some of them are taking the precaution of wearing face masks and gloves to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Calgarians at 1 Street SW Train Station.
View from the CTrain: Nearly empty streets in the City of Calgary on March 24.
Empty SAIT/AUarts/Jubilee train station on March 24.

The SAIT/AUarts/Jubilee LRT station, one that’s typically busy with a steady stream of students from Monday to Friday, is now abandoned.

Students are now working and receiving classes from home and trying to make the most of the end to their semester.

1 Comment

  1. It´s incredible how everything can change from one day to the next and daily routine that you had and hated now I miss it … I hope and I think that everything will improve soon

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