Metro Line North LRT Extension

Client City of Edmonton | Location Edmonton, AB | Completion Ongoing


The Metro Line NW LRT is an 11 km extension from the existing end-of-line station at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to a new terminus at Campbell Road near the border with the City of St. Albert. As part of The City of Edmonton Owner’s Engineering team, GEC is responsible for the urban integration, public realm design, station architecture (nine stations, with a mix of at-grade, elevated, and trenched configurations), utility complex design, and coordination of the landscape design.

To guide the design, GEC developed the sustainable urban integration guideline (SUI) for high-floor LRT in Edmonton, which has since been adopted by The City for use in all future high-floor design and upgrades. In addition, GEC has been retained to update The City’s LRT Technical Design Guideline for high-floor passenger infrastructure throughout the system. The Metro Line stations, bus terminals and associated public amenities were developed using the updated SUI and LRT Design Guideline, which means that the new system will have a very different look and feel than the original lines – resulting in a scale and approachability that is better integrated into their context. The result is a system that is focused on creating positive day-to-day experiences focused on delivering safe, accessible, comfortable, convenient, and operationally sustainable transit infrastructure to Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) users. Stations are the principal focal points of the LRT system in the community, and the Metro Line stations integrate seamlessly with adjacent car, bus, pedestrian, and cyclist infrastructure as part of an increasingly multi-modal system in Edmonton.

The design concept involved creating a distinct brand for the Metro Line that was grounded in Edmonton’s prairie context. Station elements flow into the public realm to accommodate key amenities and support The City’s ‘The Way We Move’ plan, TOD strategy, and Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI) principles for the development of modern ‘development oriented’ transit.

A range of station configurations were developed including elevated, trenched, and at-grade layouts. Station access, nodes, street crossings, shared amenities and the adjacent transit centre facilities at some stations were all designed to take the best advantage of each station configuration.

Applying the very best in terms of design for safety, accessibility, comfort, and convenience were at the core of the approach to the station architecture and urban design:

Safety: CPTED principles were applied throughout. Minimal visual clutter and long structural spans allow for good sight lines and a high degree of transparency. Ample lighting throughout the stations, canopy structures, and site areas meets or exceeds best practices using low energy fixtures. Clearly delineated, but unobtrusive separations between pedestrians and vehicles help users to feel safe accessing the platforms.

Accessibility: Universal design principles were considered with all decision making, and were coordinated between architectural, landscape, civil and LRT systems components. The City of Edmonton’s accessibility experts along with the Accessibility Advisory Committee were consulted to help ensure that station elements and crossings could be accessed and used by people of every ability equally.

Comfort and Convenience: A key driver for the continued development and expansion of Edmonton’s transit infrastructure, and a major tenet of ‘The Way We Move’ transportation plan, is to drive a mode shift away from private vehicles and advance the culture of public transport in The City. In response to this, the stations and urban design components carefully considered the types and distribution of amenities that were available, the quality, and clarity of the station way-finding. Strategies were developed to minimize clutter, provide opportunities for daylighting under canopies, and materials were selected that were simple to maintain and continue to look new for a long time.