Calgary Transit route 3 'Sandstone / Heritage / Elbow Dr'
|Calgary Transit route 3|
This route traces its origins back to the Tuxedo Park streetcar line in the north, and the Mission/Elbow Park streetcar in the south.
The Mission streetcar line, one of the original Calgary Municipal Railway lines, originally ran down 4 street to a loop at 23 Avenue. In 1911, it was extended to a loop in Glencoe (on Elbow Drive between 29th and 30th Ave). Today, this loop is a bay off of Elbow Drive, and provides residents of the adjacent houses with on-street parking. In 1912, the streetcar was further extended into Rosedale, streetcars looping around at Sifton Blvd. This loop also still exists, and is a cul-de-sac and a greenspace. Rosedale and Glencoe, then separate neighborhoods, are now known collectively as Elbow Park. The Tuxedo Park streetcar line ran from downtown across the Reconciliation Bridge (then called the Langevin bridge) and headed north along Edmonton Trail. At 24 Avenue, it headed west to 1st Ave, then up to a loop at 29 Avenue (beside Tuxedo Park School). Following the opening of the Centre Street Bridge, the streetcar headed straight up Centre Street to a loop just north of 32 Ave. When heading south, the streetcar would head east on 23 Ave to Edmonton Trail, then west along 16 Ave back onto Centre Street. These lines were later unified as route 3. The 3 would be one of the first lines involved in the rails-to-rubber program, with trolleybus service beginning in 1947 and streetcar service being discontinued in 1948.
During the trolleybus era, the route was lengthened significantly. To the north, it was first extended to 36 Avenue upon introduction of trolleybus service in 1947. It was further extended to Northmount Drive in 1957, then Tache Avenue in 1964, then to 78th Avenue Terminal in 1970. Trolleybus service to 50 Avenue south was introduced on Feburary 9, 1958. By 1962, the wires had been extended to Hamlet Road; by 1965, Sackville Drive. These loops were all still used after the extension of the line by short-turn runs, designated route 3a. The original short turn routing followed the 2's routing off of Centre Street until 16 Avenue, where it headed east back onto Centre Street south. Such buses' destination signs would be yellow, reading, for example, "3A SOUTH HAMLET ROAD ONLY". Today, all of these loops have been redeveloped, save for 78th Ave (which is still in use).
Calgary's last trolleybus run would take place on the 3 on March 8, 1975.
Following dieselization, the route looped around using Beddington, Bermuda, and Bergen, before finally being extended to its current terminus, Sandstone Terminal. In the south, it was extended to a loop built in Fish Creek Provincial Park. A bus loop was also built for Heritage Station, and would be served by the diesel 3. Despite this, the Hamlet Road loop still existed until the mid-1980s.
In 2017, the southern portion of the route was split, citing low ridership. The 3 now terminates at Heritage Station, with route 37 continuing south to Canyon Meadows Drive. The loop in Fish Creek Provincial Park has since been removed.