Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says the city transport system needs a major overhaul.
“We really have to make tough decisions to really improve the transit. I'm from Charleswood. I rode 66 all my life, and the routes haven't changed much. This is your grandparents' transit service. ”
Bowman said that the city council should be prepared to take political risks to shake things up for the better, and that, although he calls 2019 the “year of transit,” the council will have to go beyond the current authority.
He said that the city has so far collaborated with the Transit Advisory Committee on the implementation of the recommendations, but much remains to be done.
The operational review will address the issue of better aligning investments in fast transit, regular transit, further electrification of the Winnipeg Transit fleet, improving security and analyzing high-frequency networks.
“The importance of transit will only grow as the city grows,” said Bowman.
“If we don’t want to be stuck in traffic for the whole day, some people will have to take a bus, otherwise our roads will be blocked.”
Matt Allard, a member of the Transit Advisory Committee, said Wednesday afternoon that he was glad to hear the mayor's message about transit.
Allard said that the most obvious solution for improving the quality of transit traffic is also the most expensive - adding more buses to the Winnipeg transit fleet.
“This is the most expensive decision, and, of course, we are trying to do more with less in Winnipeg,” he said.
Allard said the city will buy new buses, many of which are articulated, so they will carry more passengers, at about the same overall operating costs.
“I think that in order to move a million people by 2035, transit is a key part of the solution. We do not have freeways, and our roads do not get bigger,” Allard added.