Josh Brandon will Push for Affordable, Reliable, Safe Transit System
For Immediate Release: October 2, 2018
If elected to Winnipeg city council, Josh Brandon, candidate for Daniel McIntyre ward, said he will push for a vastly improved public transit system that will be affordable, safe and offer more frequent, reliable service across the city.
“A healthy, vibrant city needs an affordable, reliable and safe transit system that meets the needs of working people, students, families, seniors and those with mobility challenges,”Brandon said. “City council has consistently failed to modernize and upgrade our transit system despite a growing population.”
Brandon is urging:
- An increase in operating funding for public transit;
- A rollback of the January 2018 25-cent fare increase;
- Implementation of a frequent service network;
- Improvements to safety for passengers and drivers; and
- Gradual electrification of the entire fleet.
According to research by Functional Transit Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ottawa contribute more than $220 million to their transit networks, while Winnipeg contributes $65 million to its system. For Winnipeg to match the per capita funding of those cities, it would have to contribute approximately $170 million.
“Compared with other major cities, Winnipeg is starving its transit system,”Brandon said. “We have too few buses to handle rush-hour crowds or provide adequate service to all neighbourhoods. Our fares are too high for low-income people and students. And too often, packed buses drive past frustrated people waiting at stops.”
Brandon said a frequent service network would schedule buses on key routes to run every 10-15 minutes beginning at morning rush hour and continuing into the evenings every day of the week. As well, key routes would intersect to make it easy for passengers to transfer and reach destinations across the city. It would also ensure passengers are not waiting for long periods at isolated stops.
To improve safety, Winnipeg Transit should consider putting safety officers on some bus routes and ensuring that routes do not terminate in isolated areas, Brandon said.
“Transit can’t continue to hike fares and provide mediocre service and expect ridership to increase,”Brandon said. “Public transit must be a viable, affordable means of transportation in a modern city. It should be our preferred mode of transportation.”