Taking Action on Transit in Bridgwater & South Pointe
A recent article in The Sou’Wester Community newspaper (see below) provides some insight on Winnipeg Transit’s current position related to route expansion. I’d like to update you and provide you with additional information on what is occurring in the Bridgwater and South Pointe communities:
1. My actions towards securing additional expanded transit route
Motion for “Needs Analysis” Report: You may recall that just after I was elected, I made a motion to request that the Transit Public Service Department research and provide a report related to improving transit service in these communities. I fully expect the report (which will come forward at the Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works meeting on September 21, 2015) to conclude that “more transit is now required in these growing communities, and if funding is available, transit routes will be added and expanded.”
Formal Request for Transit Service: I’ve been asking all residents who contact my office on this issue to ensure they contact 311 (email 311@Winnipeg.ca) to request transit service. This is important, because 311 data is collected and used to demonstrate need (SEE here)
Awareness of 2016 Budget Process: I am advocating to all members of City Council and Mayor Bowman that Waverley West is one of the fastest growing communities in Winnipeg and requires transit service ASAP. I encourage you to contact them and do the same (SEE here)
New Residents’ Advisory Groups: I am currently organizing Residents’ Advisory Groups for Bridgwater Lakes, South Pointe and Waverley Heights. (SEE here). There is strength in numbers. and your support will help to strengthen our community in many ways. Please consider joining a group in your community.
Keeping Residents Informed: Improving transit is a ward priority of mine, and I am continually updating my website with information (SEE here) so that residents understand both the process and how they can help move the process along.
2. Winnipeg Transit’s process to add/expand transit routes in new communities
Growth must occur in a new community to merit transit routes. Winnipeg Transit follows specific criteria in adding/expanding transit services:
- The new development must be comprised of at least 600 dwelling units when completed
- The new development must be adjacent to areas already served by transit routes
- Most of the dwelling units in the development must be located more than 800 metres from existing transit service
- At least 200 of the development’s dwelling units must be occupied at the time transit service is introduced
- For Weekday and Saturday service, transit routes are spaced so that as many dwelling units as possible are located within a 400 metre walking distance of transit service. In areas of low density population, average walking distances are necessarily higher.
In summary, it is clear that the communities of Bridgwater Forest/Lakes and South Pointe meet Winnipeg Transit’s criteria. Our next hurdle is to secure funding in the 2016 budget process and work is underway. Any support you can offer towards my actions is appreciated.
Residents frustrated by lack of transport
The Sou’Wester By: Kristi Anaka Posted: 07/28/2015 11:09 AM
The benefits of moving to a new development can be many but there are also challenges that go with any new subdivision.
In the case of Bridgwater Lakes, the lack of public transportation is affecting many of the residents and is repeatedly brought to my attention, such as in this message:
“My name is Furyal. I am blind in my left eye and legally blind in the right eye so it is not possible for me to drive.
“My family recently moved to Bridgwater Lakes and there are no buses that come here. I am in my second year of university at the Asper School of Business; it is extremely difficult for me to go to school… I cannot go anywhere without a bus as I cannot drive due to my vision loss. I am a very independent individual and have been taking this bus for the past few years everywhere I go because that is my only way of getting around.
“I am requesting that some sort of transportation is provided for this part of the city as individuals like myself who have physical disability find it hard to commute around the city. I also have two other siblings who have the same eye problems so all of us have no way getting anywhere as we don’t drive.”
I forwarded Furyal’s concerns to the City of Winnipeg and Winnipeg Transit in the hopes that something could be done to assist all residents of the area.
Alissa Clark, a communications officer, with the City responded:
“Winnipeg Transit does not have any immediate plans for expansion into any new subdivisions including Bridgwater Lakes. The expansion of Transit service into new subdivisions, or even the creation of new routes, is limited by budgets, and the size of our bus fleet; we currently use all our available buses to service existing routes.
“We have a long range plan for the purchase of more buses, but it may be a couple of years before we can contemplate all-day service to many sub-divisions including Bridgwater Lakes.”
Handi-Transit might be an option for a few area residents but certainly not for all. And a few years is a long time to wait for public transportation.
As much as I wish I could help, this issue would be best addressed if all Bridgwater Lakes residents expressed their concerns and/or form a community association to communicate with their political representatives, including their city councillor, MLA, member of Parliament and senator.
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