Winnipeggers rally to protest bus fare hike

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Dozens of transit activists braved blustery weather outside city hall today to oppose a 25 cent bus fare hike, one day before councillors will vote on the 2018 Winnipeg budget.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/12/2017 (1814 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dozens of transit activists braved blustery weather outside city hall today to oppose a 25 cent bus fare hike, one day before councillors will vote on the 2018 Winnipeg budget.

A coalition claiming to represent more than 100 organizations, including anti-poverty activists and students, chanted “no service cuts” and “no fare increase” while holding signs with slogans such as “I vote transit”.

“Many of us, like myself, a low-income Manitoban, can’t afford a 25 cent fare increase,” said Harry Wolbert, an anti-poverty and transit activist who attended the rally.

People rally in support of Winnipeg Transit outside City Hall on Monday. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

The mayor’s Executive Policy Committee voted to amend the budget last week to keep all transit routes running in response to bus-rider backlash. They also committed to studying a low-income bus pass, but left the 25-cent fare hike in the budget.

“We’ve won half the battle,” Wolbert said.

Wolbert, the chair of the Winnipeg Transit Riders Association, said people with disabilities, those on fixed-incomes, newcomers, seniors and the poor will be hit hardest by the new transit fare, which will increase to $2.95 for adults.

He added fare evasion will increase because people won’t be able to afford to pay.

“If I were Mayor Bowman, I’d seriously reconsider,” he said.

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh
Reporter

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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