Long-Term Strategic Plan Recommended for Transit

WINNIPEG – the 2018 preliminary budgets propose a continued investment in renewing Winnipeg’s transit fleet, implement recommendations to improve transit safety, and recommend that Transit department undertake a long-term strategic plan in response to declining ridership and the new fiscal reality the city faces following an end earlier this year to the long-standing city-provincial funding partnership.

“A growing city like Winnipeg needs an efficient, well-functioning, and safe transit service,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “This requires us to continue investing in key infrastructure while ensuring transit passengers and operators are able to safely access transit services.”

The 2018 preliminary budgets propose an investment of $28.4 million to purchase 40 new transit buses to continue to modernize and renew the bus fleet.

The 2018 budgets also proposes a new investment of $1.2 million including a capital investment of $460,000 for additional bus fleet cameras and shelters for bus inspectors and $717,000 of incremental operating funding to support additional transit security and point duty inspectors. This investment will implement the transit safety recommendations that were approved by Council in 2017 following the tragic death of bus operator Irvine Jubal Fraser.

A recommendation in the preliminary budgets also requires Winnipeg Transit to undertake a long term strategic plan in 2018 to address operating, financial, and service objectives to help ensure that transit can be better positioned for success in the future.

“We can’t ignore the fact our public transit service is facing a new fiscal reality,” said Mayor Bowman. “Declining ridership, provincial funding reductions, and a new operating environment about to emerge with the introduction of ride-sharing require transit to take a critical and strategic review of its operations to ensure it can be best positioned for success in the future.”