Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rapid transit lurches forward

  • Print

The plan for the second leg of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor is the best choice available to the city, which faced the difficult task of developing a new thoroughfare along a route that is dense with development and obstacles.

The route from the Jubilee interchange west into the so-called Parker lands and then south along a Manitoba Hydro corridor to the University of Manitoba is not the fastest or most direct route, and it will not be as convenient for some businesses and residents along Pembina Highway.

But it is easier and cheaper to build because it will require far less expropriation of property, which would have been required if the route along Pembina had been chosen. It has the added benefit of being located near vacant lands that can easily be developed, which will increase the tax base and help contribute to the overall $350-million cost.

The indirect route will also help serve Transit routes in Waverley West, Fort Richmond, Richmond West and St. Norbert, resulting in greater overall flexibility for the bus rapid transit system that can operate on and off the dedicated busway. Cyclists will be happier, too, because space for a separate corridor for them along Pembina would have come at a premium.

Fewer road crossings also means buses will be able to travel at higher speeds, making it truly rapid.

Transit enthusiasts, however, should hold off before ordering the champagne. That's because the whole package is not a done deal.

It hinges on the federal government responding positively to a city request for $75 million in funding under the P3 (private-public partnership) program. Ottawa is expected to respond in six to eight months, but if funding is granted, it could come with strings, including an expectation that the private sector take on a larger ownership stake in the project.

The province claims it's on board for its third of the funding, ignoring the fact that the federal government won't provide one-third under the P3 program. That means the province and city should equally share the balance, or roughly $137 million each.

The funding battles still to come, however, don't change the fact that most of the money will probably be available. The province, like the city, is determined to finish the southwest corridor, a project that suits both their interests.

In a best-case scenario, construction will begin in two years and the corridor will open in 2018, completing the first phase of rapid transit in Winnipeg, decades after it was first touted as essential to the city's future.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Gerald Flood, Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 29, 2013 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google