Winnipeg Transit 25-year master plan heading to city hall this week

Winnipeg Transit expects to propose an “entirely new transit network” at city hall this week, which would combine six distinct projects over 25 years of development.

The Winnipeg Transit Master Plan is valued at around $538.9 million, of which the city would be responsible for $165.6 million.

The crux of the project would be six rapid transit corridors which would form three primary rapid transit lines converging on Main Street between Portage Avenue and Stradbrook Avenue.

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Winnipeg Transit says shorter neighbourhood routes would meet up frequently with the main corridors for a simpler, integrated system.

“Through the public engagement process, we heard that the existing route network was too complex, service was too infrequent, and it didn’t offer enough options for travel within and between neighbourhoods,” Greg Ewankiw, director of Winnipeg Transit, said in a news release.

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“The Winnipeg Transit Master Plan proposes changes to the transit route network to response to the needs of residents of Winnipeg, and will enhance connectivity, frequency, and reliability.”

The Master Plan describes frequent transit service as a “tipping point” to making public transit a viable option for most people, which it describes as a bus every 15 minutes or less.

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Currently, it says only slightly more than 20 per cent of Winnipeg homes are a six- to seven-minute walk to frequent transit service.

Transit says the first priority is the downtown infrastructure, which includes an “elevated transitway,” establishing Union Station as the city’s main hub.

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The other crux of Transit’s master plan is accessibility, which proposes blending conventional transit service with On-Request service and Winnipeg Transit Plus.

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It would also make all stops, junctions, stations and hubs universally accessible, and install 55 heated shelters throughout the city by 2025.

The Master Plan is comprised of six projects, subject to council approval:

  • Bus Radio and Intelligent Transportation System project.
  • North Garage Replacement
  • Transition to Zero Emission Buses
  • Rapid Transit (Downtown Corridors) Preliminary Design
  • Primary Transit Network Infrastructure
  • Wheelchair Securements Retro-fit

The master plan will be presented at the standing policy committee on infrastructure renewal and public works on March 11.

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