Transit Transformation In Southwest Winnipeg
I’d like to thank the Sou’Wester for printing this article in their August 20th edition
Transit transformation in southwest Winnipeg
By: Janice Lukes – South Winnipeg-St. Norbert City Councillor Ward Report Posted: 08/20/2018 3:00 PM
By spring 2020 residents of southwest Winnipeg will have the best transit service in the entire city.
I know that sounds like a rather bold statement considering the current state of turmoil transit is experiencing. With the completion of the southwest transitway, this statement will become a fact. I receive calls weekly with requests to improve the transit service and want residents to know, no major changes to transit routes will be made until April 2020.
But when spring does arrive in 2020, we will experience the rewards of this $500 million infrastructure investment (plus operating costs). Southwest Winnipeg’s current transit service will be transformed into the best transit service in Winnipeg.
Transit staff are reviewing existing routes, ridership and 311 transit call requests in southwest Winnipeg to determine locations of new routes that will connect to the transitway corridor. Transit planners are looking to implement what is called a ‘high frequency’ network of routes that are essentially feeder routes shuttling riders to and from the transitway. High frequency to riders means instead of looking for the exact time that your bus will arrive, you will know that the bus comes frequently, at every 10 or 15-minute intervals. Transfers will be used and will not be as onerous to the rider, given the frequency of connections from the feeder routes to the transitway. This sounds like a major shift in transit’s current operations, and it will be.
The times and locations riders access transit in southwest Winnipeg is about to undergo a very significant change. I know with change comes challenges and resistance but am confident this is the kind of change transit riders want will embrace.
In the coming year, transit staff will be holding a series of open houses to discuss existing routes, ridership and potential new routes. I cannot stress enough how important it will be for residents to attend these sessions and offer input. I will be especially encouraging residents who do not take transit to come out and offer input because I do believe this tremendous investment in the transitway corridor will be transformational and many residents who use vehicles to travel downtown will leave their car in the garage and hop on a bus. Almost sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? I can assure you I will be doing all I can to ensure the corridor is optimized to its maximum capabilities, because if this first transitway corridor isn’t transformation for ridership, we should question why any further investments in rapid transit would be made.
I look forward to seeing you at the transit open houses — watch my website JaniceLukes.ca for upcoming dates.