Overwhelming support for provincial funding of public transit: Poll

Melissa Hansen, CTV News Winnipeg
Published Friday, September 27, 2019 8:01AM CST
Last Updated Friday, September 27, 2019 8:06AM CST

A new poll conducted by Probe Research on behalf of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 1505, found that 80 per cent of Winnipeg residents believe it is important for the provincial government to split the operating costs for public transit.

There were 1200 respondants to the poll, 743 of which were from Winnipeg.

Prior to the elimination of the 50/50 funding agreement by the Pallister Government during its first term, Winnipeg Transit operating costs were split evenly by the provincial and municipal governments.

In response to the wake of the Global Climate Strike Friday the ATU is putting pressure on the province to restore the funding.

“Investment in public transit is one of the most important ways that we can take action on climate change, with one-third of our emissions in Manitoba coming from transportation,” said Aleem Chaudhary, ATU 1505 President. “As thousands of students gather to fight for the future of our planet, it’s clear that the province has a responsibility to restore 50/50 funding agreement and invest in public transit. We’re hopeful that all parties will recognize the role that we collectively play in stopping climate change and reverse the reckless decision to slash dedicated transit funding.”

He also went on to note that the poll found that three out of four Winnipeggers thought that boosting the usage of public transit should be a priority to help reduce Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“While the climate crisis can appear overwhelming, some solutions such as restoring dedicated provincial funding for public transit are very easily achievable. Investing in public transit will reduce emissions and create jobs right here in Winnipeg,” said Chaudhary. “It isn’t too late for the Pallister government to listen to Winnipegers and reverse this draconian cut to public transit, the environment, and our future”

The union is asking that Manitoba MLA’s raise the issue of public transit funding when legislature resumes sitting next week.