Winnipeg Transit releases master plan for transit service, investment in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Transit releases master plan for transit service, investment in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Transit Master Plan proposes new transit network to better respond to residents’ needs, and recommends cost-sharing for eligible major capital projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

Released: 09:26 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Transit has developed a master plan which presents a 25-year vision for transit service in Winnipeg and an investment plan that supports this vision. The Winnipeg Transit Master Plan (WTMP) will be presented at the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works (SPC-IRPW) on March 11, 2021.

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

The Winnipeg Transit Master Plan (WTMP) proposes an entirely new transit network to better respond to the needs of residents, with a system that is designed to be resilient, changing and adapting as the city grows. The proposed new network is based on a frequent transit network concept adapted to fit Winnipeg which would more than double the number of Winnipeg households within a short walk of frequent transit service once completed.

Rapid Transit infrastructure expansion is proposed as the core of the system. The proposed Rapid Transit network is comprised of six rapid transit corridors linked together to form three Rapid Transit lines that extend throughout the city. In turn, shorter routes within neighbourhoods would link up to the frequent and rapid transit networks to create an integrated network. The first priority for Rapid Transit is the downtown infrastructure, including an elevated transitway that would establish Union Station as the city’s flagship mobility hub.

The WTMP also proposes changes to Winnipeg Transit Plus to create a more seamless, integrated, and universally accessible network that better integrates conventional transit service with On-Request service and Winnipeg Transit Plus.

The WTMP aims to make all stops, junctions, stations, and hubs universally accessible, and facilitates the installation of 55 heated bus shelters throughout Winnipeg by 2025.

Major capital projects & funding

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (ICIP-PTIS) represents Winnipeg’s best opportunity to fund key Transit-related projects that are aligned with the WTMP. If the City of Winnipeg was successful in accessing federal and provincial funding for an investment under ICIP-PTIS, the City funding requirement for eligible projects could be reduced by as much as 70% of the total costs.

Subject to Council’s approval, the following six capital projects are recommended for application to the ICIP-PTIS program, and are subject to federal and provincial funding approval:

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

The total cost for the six projects is estimated at $538.9 million. To fully fund the City’s portion ($165.6 million) under the ICIP program, additional funding/debt of approximately $69.5 million would be required.

Transit’s ICIP Infrastructure Plan recommends the establishment of a new Transit Infrastructure Reserve to fund the North Garage Replacement project debt and finance costs. This reserve would be funded by reallocating a portion of the .33% property tax increases currently dedicated to the existing Southwest Rapid Transitway (Stage 2) and Pembina Highway Underpass Payment Reserve.

For more information on the WTMP, please see: winnipeg.ca/transitmasterplan.

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