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Worth of rapid transit investment must be proven

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Committing funding to the proposed South West Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) route is significant due to the potential impacts and costs of the project.

I believe it is important to finish the second leg of the SWBRT. I, like many other residents, have legitimate questions about the route chosen.

Some believe that no matter what the costs, the city must complete the SWBRT to the University of Manitoba. While others believe no money should be spent on SWBRT. However, the decision is not either/or, but a decision that needs to be based on identifying, assessing, communicating and evaluating all the pros and cons. 

For example, people need to know that the investment in the SWBRT will benefit Winnipeggers by providing more efficient transit service, reduce the number of cars on the road, increase ridership, encourage infill development and redevelopment and these benefits need to be judged against costs, risk and other cons that determine if the project (or any project for that matter) is worth the investment.   

The city administration will be providing, within the next few months, council and the public a "business case" for the SWBRT that will need to justify the investment in the proposed route before I will support the project. I continue to advocate for an analysis of the alternative Pembina Highway route while working with city and other stakeholders to make sure that proposed SWBRT benefits all Winnipeggers.

While there may not be mutual consensus in the end, I feel if there is proven value, a majority of Winnipeggers will support the investment in SWBRT. 

Let me know what you think by going to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/John-Orlikow/47415126761

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