Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Take free ride, check out new transit corridor

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If you've spent your entire life waiting for a free ride, your chance has arrived.

The city has issued an open invitation to take a free test ride on the 3.6-kilometre first leg of the city's new rapid transit service this Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The long-awaited Southwest Transitway, until recently known as the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor, swings into full operation on Easter Sunday, but this Thursday you can check out the first leg without digging into your wallet.

"For the purposes of the special April 5 one-day, free-ride offer, RT (rapid transit) buses will operate every 15 minutes and will travel between Balmoral Station at the University of Winnipeg and Pembina Highway at Windermere via the Southwest Transitway," Dave Wardrop, director of transit, said in a news release Monday.

The transitway is a high-speed corridor for buses, physically separated from the regular street system. Buses on the transitway will operate at speeds up to 80 km/h, free of any other traffic, providing very fast, reliable service, the news release boasted.

The first leg of the much-hyped transitway will allow buses travelling between downtown and southwestern neighbourhoods to bypass traffic in Osborne Village and on the northern stretch of Pembina Highway.

"This is a great opportunity for Winnipeggers to test drive the new RT before it goes into full operation on April 8," Mayor Sam Katz said in a statement.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 4, 2012 B2

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