2016 Preliminary Budget – Transit in South Winnipeg-St. Norbert

Winnipeg Transit

The transit overview in the 2016 preliminary budget offers some very positive highlights and some ongoing challenges faced by Winnipeg Transit.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Rapid Transit multi-year funding program begins with a tax increase of .33% for 10 years
  • Province of Manitoba will provide $1.7 million annually towards bus replacement reserve in perpetuity
  • U-Pass will launch in Fall, 2016 for students at participating post-secondary institutions
  • Smart Cards will launch in Summer, 2016, and include the integration of electronic fare media
  • 2016 budget funding will be allocated to allow for 17 Full Time Equivalent Staff (FTEs) for maintenance and U-Pass staff and parts supply
  • 2016 funding is enabling the City to purchase 52 new buses (35 in replacements; 9 for U-Pass; 8 for service expansion)

CHALLENGES

  • Emission control devices on new buses are a recent, mandatory requirement under Federal Government legislation.  However, these devices have resulted in increased costs for maintenance staffing as well as repair parts.  This in turn has delayed the purchase of new buses (with the same emission control devices) as well as the hiring of staffing for route expansion.
  • At the suggestion of the engine manufacturer (Cummins), Winnipeg Transit is replacing the entire emission-control system with new units.  While the original warranty had expired, the manufacturer offered a discount on the price of a replacement unit.  This affects 101 New Flyer buses purchased from 2011 to 2013; emission-control systems repeatedly broke down even after repair.
  • Purchases of new buses will be delayed until Winnipeg Transit is satisfied with the reliability of the solution proposed by Cummins.  More detail is available in the links below:

October 15, 2015 – Winnipeg Free Press
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Transit-replacing-emission-control-systems-in-faulty-buses-333092321.html

November 24, 2015 – Winnipeg Free Press
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/City-puts-brakes-on-new-bus-purchases-353182591.html

December 13, 2015 – Winnipeg Sun
http://www.winnipegsun.com/2015/12/13/whats-holding-up-the-electric-bus-schedule

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Recall by New Flyer
http://wemakeitsafer.com/vehicle-recall/New-Flyer-D40lfr-Recall-6153408  (see excerpt below)

2011-08-22 (Published by NHTSA on 2011-08-22)
Recall Summary: NEW FLYER IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 HEAVY DUTY TRANSIT BUSES, MODELS D35LFR, D40LFR, D60LFR, DE40LFR, DE60LFR, XD35, XDE35, AND XDE40, MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 30, 2010, THROUGH JUNE 3, 2011, EQUIPPED WITH A CUMMINS ISB, ISL, ISC, or ISX DIESEL ENGINE. THE V-BAND CLAMP ASSEMBLY, PART NUMBERS Q187684, Q187685, AND Q187686, USED TO CONNECT THE INLET AND OUTLET CONE SECTIONS TO THE DIESEL OXIDATION CATALYST (DOC)/DIESEL PARTICULATE FILTER (DPF) INCLUDE A T-BOLT WHICH CAN FRACTURE AND FAIL WHEN SUBJECTED TO STRESS OR LOAD. A FRACTURE OR FAILURE OF THE T-BOLT MAY CAUSE THE CLAMP TO LOOSEN AND THE INLET OR OUTLET SECTIONS ATTACHED TO THE DOC/DPF HOUSING TO DISCONNECT.
Hazard: IF THE INLET OR OUTLET SECTIONS DISCONNECT, HOT EXHAUST GASES CAN VENT PRIOR TO EXITING THE TAILPIPE, CREATING THE RISK OF COMBUSTION AND A FIRE. IF BOTH CLAMPS FAIL, THERE IS A RISK IN SOME APPLICATIONS THAT THE DOC/DPF HOUSING MAY DETACH COMPLETELY, CREATING A ROAD HAZARD.
Remedy: NEW FLYER IS WORKING WITH CUMMINS TO IDENTIFY AND NOTIFY OWNERS OF THE RECALL CAMPAIGN. REPAIRS WILL BE PERFORMED BY AUTHORIZED CUMMINS DEALERS FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CUMMINS AT 1-812-377-5000 OR NEW FLYER CUSTOMER SERVICES AT 1-204-934-4876.
Additional Info: CUMMINS RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS C1154.NEW FLYER’S RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS R11-019.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .
NHTSA Source: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallresults.cfm?start=1&SearchType=QuickSearch&rcl_ID=11V431000

 

  • No additional operating funds (for drivers) have been allocated for service expansion because we are not purchasing buses. It’s a good sign that service expansion buses are in the 2016 budget, but purchasing (approx. 80 buses) is being delayed in both 2015 and 2016 budgets until the emission control challenges are rectified.
  • Winnipeg Transit retires an average of 30-35 buses annually. Projected bus purchases for the next six years average 30-35 annually. The current projections do not include bus purchases for service expansion; yet, the city is growing along with a growing transit ridership (2019 budget includes an additional 12 buses for operation on the Southwest Rapid Transitway).
  • In the short term, we are not able to grow our service until the emission control challenges are rectified. I along with many other members of City Council are supportive of expanding transit service, and will continue to work towards that goal.

 

NEW BUS PURCHASES

  • 2015    $16,767,000   Approx. 30 buses  – yet to be purchased
  • 2016    $32,456,000   Approx. 52 buses (35 replacements, 9 U-Pass, 8 service expansion) – yet to be purchased

No new buses are being purchased yet from the 2015 budget allocation.  The timeline for new buses averages 9 months from ordering to delivery.

The City is exploring the availability of purchasing used (pre-2010) buses from other municipalities to support the anticipated uptake for the U-Pass service expansion. These pre-2010 buses are models that do not have emission control challenges. Winnipeg Transit runs an extraordinarily efficient maintenance shop and is able to service buses without emission control devices more cost/time effectively as compared to new buses with the emission control devices.

Winnipeg was one of the first cities which purchased buses with the new, legislated emission control devices between 2011 and 2013.  As a result, we are also one of the first cities to experience the challenges related to these devices.

 

2016 BUDGET FOR OPERATIONS

  • Allows for 17 Full Time Equivalent Staff (bulk of positions is for increased bus maintenance and U-Pass staffing)
  • Increases funding to purchase parts needed to support new fleet with emission control devices
  • No new positions are being added for service route expansion in 2016

FUTURE GROWTH

We are seeing a ridership rate of growth faster than the rate of City of Winnipeg population growth.

Transit - Future Growth

 

The graph below represents authorized Capital Projects for the period of 2016-2021 excluding the Rapid Transit Corridor and other projects.

 Capital Projects 2016 budget

 

SPECIFIC TO SOUTH WINNIPEG–ST. NORBERT WARD

Service Expansion 

Below is a priority listing for expanded transit service pending the approval of funding:

  1. Recommended for Early 2014:  Expansion of Transit Route 35 Maples Super Express to Amber Trails
  2. Recommended for Fall 2016:   Expansion of Routes 72 and 84/86  Bridgwater Forest, Bridgwater Lakes & South Pointe
  3. Recommended for Fall 2016:   Expansion of service to Sage Creek, Royalwood, Island Lakes, Waterside Estates & Southland Park
  4. Other:  Winnipeg Transit has advised there are four additional routes across the City which currently meet the criteria for expansion.

 

 

Cost of Bridgwater/South Pointe Routes 72 and 84/86 – $1.6 million approx.

Based upon an implementation date of September, 2016:

  • In 2016, the service plan has an estimated increased cost of $200,500, offset by increased revenues of $140,000 (includes increased passenger revenue of $79,500 and increased Provincial funding of $60,500, based on Transit’s cost sharing agreement with the Province).
    • Results in a net annual increase to the City’s grant/contribution to Transit of $60,500
  • For 2017 and beyond, the service plan carries with it an estimated increased annual cost of $615,000, offset by increased revenues of $430,000 (includes increased passenger revenue of $245,000 and increased Provincial funding of $185,000, based on Transit’s cost sharing agreement with the Province)
    • Results in a net annual increase to the City’s grant/contribution to Transit of $185,000
  • To maintain existing frequency/headways, two additional vehicles would be required (one for each route) at a total cost of $1,180,000 (2016 dollars).

 

Launching New/Expanded Transit Routes 

Currently, there are no new buses being purchased for route expansion due to ongoing emission control challenges. The good news is the funding to purchase buses is included in the 2016 budget.

The challenge is that no operating funds (for drivers) have been allocated in the 2016 budget, because of the ongoing challenges with the mandatory emission control device.

New buses are ‘anticipated’ to arrive in late 2016 or early 2017 BUT this timing is dependent on whether or not a successful resolution is found by the manufacturer for the emissions control device.

 

 

Twitter link:  http://janicelukes.ca/?p=5294