City authorities recognize and understand the importance of constant transport infrastructure growth and modernization to be able to satisfy the needs of Winnipeg citizens and a workforce visiting our city every day. 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. ”
The city’s overall operating budget is expected to wrap 2018 with a $14.2 million surplus – itself higher than the September estimate of $9.5 million.
The transit surplus is calculated separately and doesn’t impact the $14.2 million General Revenue Fund surplus.
The 25-cent fare increase and stable ridership compared to 2017 are also factors.
The city authorities also plan to install safety shields on all Winnipeg buses. The cost to purchase shields for all 630 Winnipeg Transit buses is estimated at $3.15 million.
After testing a selection of shields, Transit shared a video of the model selected to be installed on all buses. The city launched a pilot project on six buses which wrapped up in August 2018, allowing drivers to test different types of shields. More than 700 drivers tested out each shield and were able to fill out a survey sharing which one they preferred.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is great information for all citizens of Winnipeg and people, who come here for work.
The city also cites other factors – including increased police revenues, departmental improvements from Planning, Property and Development, and an improvement in salary and benefit expenses for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service – as contributing to the higher projected surplus.
The city authorities recognize the growth of our city`s needs, the population grows every year and the workforce visiting Winnipeg constantly increases as well. Public transportation is a very important part of city infrastructure modernization and development.