Transit Update in Bridgwater & South Pointe
This overview is to provide an update on efforts to secure an extension of Winnipeg Transit service in South Winnipeg. Expanding transit service is a top request from residents in the Bridgwater and South Pointe communities – it’s also listed as 1 of 2 top priorities on Winnipeg Transit’s expansion
Just to note, I am very aware of the dire need for increased bus frequency and ability to handle more capacity City-wide. I am very supportive of increasing transit services across the City. In July of 2016, the Federal Government announced Winnipeg will be receiving $79.4 million for transit initiatives and steps are underway to improve service City-wide, which will assist in improving our transit needs in the coming years.
For purposes of this update, I will focus on Bridgwater and South Pointe transit route extension details.
Winnipeg Transit regularly reviews requests for increased service. Here is the background on Bridgwater and South Pointe expansion requests:
June, 2015: I requested a formal study and report be prepared by Winnipeg Transit to investigate options to increase transit service.
September 2015: Transit recommended extension options to routes 72 and 84/86 in Bridgwater/South Pointe (see proposed routes in Transit’s report). Please note with the rapid development of South Pointe over the past 1.5 years, Transit is now considering a modification to route 84/86 as Stan Bailie Drive is fully open and South Pointe School will be opening in January, 2017. I expect an update in the coming weeks, and will share any new developments on my website.
Budget 2016 (March): The 2016 budget did not include any funding for route extension, but did include funding to purchase buses for route extensions.
Budget 2017: The preliminary 2017 budget will be tabled on November 22, 2016. I am optimistic we will see funding to support route extensions.
While there are many minor adjustments made to existing transit routes to optimize service at no charge, new route extensions are not that frequent. The Winnipeg Transit Department provided me with a 5-year history of route extensions. The table below provides insight into when there have been actual route extensions with an associated cost:
YEAR ROUTE REASON CITY’S NET ANNUAL COST
2014 35 Extension of service to new development $ 21,600
2012 44 Extension of service to new development $176,000
2012 60 & 69 Modifications re Phase 1 Rapid Transit $160,000
As noted above, there have been only 3 route extensions in the past 5 years, and one was due to Phase 1 Rapid Transit. I acknowledge our roads are in need of repair, but also recognize we need to increase use of Transit to get more vehicles off the road. The Federal Government’s support will assist in improving transit in the future, and I will do an update on City-wide transit in the coming weeks.
So, in summary, increasing transit in Bridgwater and South Pointe is a top priority in South Winnipeg – and it is also a top priority on Winnipeg Transit’s list.
The City’s 2017 budget tabled on November 22, 2016 will provide clarity on any potential route extensions.