Nominees have been chosen for the city's first transit advisory committee.
Winnipeg Transit is proposing seven individuals be appointed to the new committee, including the acting head of Transit, a city councillor, a bus driver and two union officials.
The appointments to the committee are part of an administrative report to Monday’s meeting of the city's public works committee.
The creation of the committee was one of several safety initiatives adopted by city hall in June in response to the Feb. 14 stabbing death of Transit driver Jubal Fraser.
As a result of the safety review conducted following Fraser’s death, Transit was authorized to take several immediate steps to address driver concerns. In addition to the creation of the advisory committee, which exists in most other Canadian municipalities, Transit was authorized to: launch a pilot project to test the suitability of driver barrier shields; launching a public campaign to encourage riders to report undesirable behaviour; having inspectors conduct spot checks for paid fares; and working more closely with police to target problem routes and times.
The committee also forwarded several recommendations for consideration in the 2018 budget, including funding for: five additional full-time transit security staff; four new duty inspectors to assist drivers and passengers; adding one additional instructor to providing ongoing training for drivers to prevent and diffuse conflict situations; installing an additional surveillance camera on buses.
The individuals nominated for the advisory committee include: Coun. Marty Morantz, chairman of the public works committee; Greg Ewankiw, acting director of Transit; bus driver Jon Rost; John Callahan, international vice-president of the Amalgamated Transit Union; Joe Kornelson, chairman of the local transit advocacy group Functional Transit Winnipeg; Winnipeg police Supt. Elizabeth Pilcher; and Dee Gillies, executive director of the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers.
While Ewankiw said in June members of the new advisory committee would determine its mandate and how that work will be carried out, the report to public works recommends the committee be given a mandate to "review industry practices, assess and determine trends and recommend strategies to improve safety on the Winnipeg Transit system."
The report stated stakeholders consulted in the formation of the committee had agreed on its terms of reference and those terms be part of the administrative report recommendation to the public works committee.
The report recommends members be appointed by the public works committee on a two-year term and the advisory committee will choose its own chairperson; the advisory committee report to the public works committee and will provide a report at least "semi-annually"; the committee will meet at least four times a year; members will not receive a remuneration for their work; and at least one be a member of city council.