Slightly more voters believe bus rapid transit is a better transportation option for Winnipeg than light-rail transit, according to a Free Press/CBC News poll.
As part of a broader election poll conducted earlier this month, Leger Marketing asked 800 Winnipeg voters to choose the best rapid-transit option for the city.
Thirty two per cent of respondents said the city should concentrate equally on BRT and LRT. Another 27 per cent listed BRT as the best transportation option for the city.
Only 14 per cent listed LRT as the rapid-transit priority. Three per cent said none of the above and another three per cent didn't know.
The result suggests a majority of Winnipeggers are in line with mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis' rapid-transit policy.
The first phase of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor, a busway that runs from Queen Elizabeth Way near The Forks to Jubilee Avenue at Pembina Highway, is expected to be completed late next year. Wasylycia-Leis wants to accept a federal/provincial offer of $126 million to extend the busway to the University of Manitoba.
Mayor Sam Katz wants to divert the money for road and bridge projects and lobby Ottawa and Broadway for additional cash for light-rail transit.
Wasylycia-Leis took the poll result as a vindication of her position.
"I think what this shows is that Winnipeggers want to see less talk around rapid transit and more action to finally get it done," she said in a statement.
Katz remains committed to LRT, campaign spokesman Brad Salyn said in a statement.
"The mayor has also shown leadership in ensuring Winnipeg pursues LRT to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage more people to use public transit as a viable alternative to their vehicles, like every other major North American city," Salyn said.
"Focusing on public transit in Winnipeg, which of the following actions do you think is most beneficial for the city?"
Concentrate equally on bus rapid transit and light rail transit: 32 per cent
Concentrate on improving bus rapid transit: 27 per cent
Concentrate on improving light rail transit: 14 per cent
None of the above: Three per cent
Don't know: Three per cent
Leger Marketing conducted an Oct. 6-17 telephone survey of 800 randomly selected Winnipeg adults. The survey results, statistically weighted to conform to demographics, have a margin of error of 3.5 per cent and 95 per cent certainty of being accurate.