Council approves on-demand accessible vehicles for hire pilot

Council approves on-demand accessible vehicles for hire pilot

New service to provide universal access point for customers booking accessible on-demand transportation

Released: 9:16 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Yesterday, Council approved a new three-year pilot to improve accessible vehicle for hire access for Winnipeggers through a new on-demand service known as Winnipeg Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, or Winnipeg WAV.

Winnipeg WAV will provide a universal access point for users of on-demand accessible transportation service to request a trip. The service also aims to improve wait-times for passengers by increasing the industry’s accessible vehicle capacity and expanding service hours.

“We continue to hear from stakeholders that wait times for accessible on-demand transportation in Winnipeg are too long,” said Councillor Matt Allard, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works. “Through the Winnipeg WAV pilot, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to improve service for the many people who rely on accessible on-demand transportation, while also removing some of the barriers for industry to provide that service.”

By participating in the pilot, accessible vehicle drivers and owners can earn financial incentives (up to $2,250/year for drivers and up to $2,500/year for owners). These incentives are meant to assist owners with the additional costs associated with purchasing and maintaining accessible vehicles and for drivers in operating an accessible vehicle. Incentives will be based on customer service metrics, including number of trips provided through Winnipeg WAV, customer service rating, trip acceptance rates, expanded hours of service, and passing inspections.

The budget for the pilot is $1.8 million, and is being funded entirely through the existing accessibility surcharge on vehicle for hire trips.

Winnipeg WAV is scheduled to launch in fall 2021. For more information, please visit: winnipeg.ca/vehiclesforhire.

City marks Wildfire Community Preparedness Day by encouraging residents to help reduce the risk of wildland fires


Released: 9:46 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Tomorrow, May 1, 2021, is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is encouraging residents to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfires in our community.

Wildfires in Winnipeg are typically wind-driven ground fires involving grass, brush, and dead plant matter which can spread quickly. In a typical year, WFPS responds to approximately 200 of these types of fires within City limits. This number increases when conditions are drier than normal. These fires often spread quickly and can threaten property, or in some cases, cause extensive damage to properties.

“As the weather warms up, the risk of wildland fires increases,” said Assistant Chief Mark Reshaur, WFPS. “While the mid-April snowstorm helped with dry conditions, we still expect these dangerous fires to be an issue this spring. WFPS strongly encourages property owners near wildland areas to properly maintain their yards in order to mitigate their risk.”

Protecting your property:

  • Thin and prune vegetation, cleaning up brush, leaves, grass and debris.
  • Plant fire-resistant plants and shrubs. Avoid combustible plants and trees (such as cedar and pine) that accumulate dry dead material or have papery bark.
  • Water plants and vegetation in the area surrounding your home, particularly during dry conditions.
  • Store firewood at least 10 meters away from structures.
  • Position your approved fire pits/receptacles in an open area away from overhanging trees and 10 feet away from combustible materials.

The WFPS also urges residents to take the necessary steps to prevent wildland fires.

  • Do not dispose of cigarette butts in any sort of vegetation (including grass), in planter pots, or from vehicle windows.
  • Do not burn yard waste, garbage, or scrap material on your property. Doing so within City limits is prohibited and can result in a fine.
  • Only burn clean, dry, untreated wood in residential fire pits.
  • Only use Neighbourhood Liveability By-Law compliant outdoor fire receptacles such as fire pits, fire places and outdoor BBQs. Fire pits must be enclosed on all sides and have a spark arrestor.
  • Always have a means to extinguish the fire readily available.
  • Remember – fires cannot be started, even with a proper fire permit, if wind speeds and/or gusts exceed 25 km/h.

If you are planning a fire, not within an approved fire pit, you must apply for a permit with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

In recent years, the WFPS has acquired specialized equipment to combat wildfires, including the WFPS Bison, compressed air-foam snuffers, pumper tankers for water supply, and quads to access otherwise difficult to reach locations rapidly.

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