Edmonton Transit Service Capital Line
Edmonton Transit System route 501 is a light rail route operated by Edmonton Transit System, also commonly referred to as the LRT.
Route 501 (LRT) runs from northeast Edmonton to the University area south of the North Saskatchewan River. Siemens U2 and SD160 light rail vehicles provide service at a minimum 15 minute frequency along the line.
The Capital Line (route 501) was the city's first light rail line. The City of Edmonton had commissioned Canadian Bechtel Ltd. to develop a rapid transit system to serve anticipated population growth. Construction of the new 7.2 kilometre, $65 million light rail line began in 1974 at 95 Street and 106 Avenue. The line opened on April 22, 1978, running between Belvedere and Central Stations for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
Throughout the 1980s, the Capital Line would see a number of extensions. A 2.2 kilometre extension northward opened on April 26, 1981 and cost $10 million. A westward extension towards Bay and Corona LRT Stations, west of Jasper Avenue, opened in 1983. A further extension to Grandin Station opened in 1989.
In 1992, the University LRT Station and Transit Centre, the deepest in the system, was opened. The Dudley B. Menzies LRT Bridge carries the LRT exclusively on the top level, while the lower level is used by pedestrians and cyclists. In total, the LRT system grew to 12.3 kilometres in length, with six underground, and four surface stations.
Construction of an extension to Health Sciences began in 2003. It is part of a larger plan to extend the LRT to Heritage Mall (to be developed as Century Park). On January 3, 2006, the Health Sciences station opened. Three years later, stations opened at South Campus, McKernan/Belgravia, and Leger. The line reached the current terminus at Century Park in April 2010.