Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/10/2018 (306 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Another one rides the bus
Re: The simple pleasures of taking the bus (Oct. 12)
I can certainly identify with John Longhurst regarding his use of Winnipeg Transit. During my university days in the mid-1960s, transit was the easiest and most effective way to travel from St. James to the University of Winnipeg. Parking availability then, as now, was expensive and mostly unavailable.
The only hiccup of bus use, which sometimes still occurs, was trying to survive at a lonely bus stop in February temperatures of perhaps -30 C with the wind howling around my shivering parka-clad frame. Compounding this freezing situation, smartphones were, of course, unheard of, so there was no way of checking the bus’s arrival time. At times, in desperation, I would light up a cigarette hoping that a bus would appear after only a couple of drags. Most of the time, this didn’t really work.
After university, I vowed to stop taking transit. Like many other drivers, car travel became my convenient transportation god. I was well into my 70s and an established retired senior with a pension when I had an "a-ha" moment; that is, my usable pension income was definitely less because of expensive car repairs. Therefore, once again, I turned to Winnipeg Transit for an affordable way to do my city travels.
Nonetheless, there was a learning curve associated with this solution, such as standing behind the yellow line when at the front of the bus, pressing the bell button in sufficient time for your stop and not making overlong eye contact with any passenger as it’s impolite, although most passengers are staring at their smartphones anyway.
Winnipeg Transit has certainly changed for the better over the years and, of course, knowing the exact bus arrival times because of smartphones is a big plus. Many buses are now air-conditioned during the hot summer days, and I certainly appreciate seeing an approaching warm bus slowing down for a pickup at my stop on a freezing winter day.
I’ve particularly observed that bus passengers are normally kind to one another when the situation warrants, such as giving up their seats for people with disabilities and for mothers with their baby carriages.
I’ve also noticed, at least in my travels, that most people do say "thank you" to the bus drivers when leaving by the front door. I know that I do, for they have a demanding job and I am sure the drivers appreciate the courtesy.
Due to the changed life circumstances of my senior years, I don’t regret not having a car and all the associated expenses. Senior bus passes, on the other hand, are quite inexpensive. If I wish to go to a destination not readily available by bus, I take a taxi.
In my opinion, transit serves the citizens of Winnipeg well. Yes, improvements to bus service can always be made, but I am confident that Winnipeg Transit will continue to evolve as an invaluable community resource.
Thanks, John Longhurst, for your assessment of riding the bus in Winnipeg. I agree with almost everything you said. I, too, ride the bus daily to my job and have for the 10 years that I’ve worked here. I enjoy the ride because you can read a book, text, sleep or just stare mindlessly out the window. All of these activities are frowned upon if you’re driving a vehicle.
I chose where I wanted to live when I moved back to this city based on the proximity to a bus stop with routes that would get me and my kids to where we might need to go.
Thankfully, I live on bus routes that go to several major areas of the city. It is also near the start of the routes, so I can always get a seat. I own a car, but do not drive it to work because I don’t want the hassle of the rush-hour traffic, or finding a parking spot at my destination.
The only part I disagree with is that, on the No. 75 to the University of Manitoba at least, there are a lot of people who thank the bus driver, myself included. I say it with the utmost sincerity, because I really do appreciate the service they provide and the great job they do (most of them/most of the time).
Re: Freedom of religion (Letters, Oct. 12)
I’m afraid that Jean-Pierre Allard may be confusing secularism with assimilation. Canada has painfully learned that forcing people to conform to cultural norms, whether that be religion, values, dress or language, has caused significant harm to the Indigenous Peoples of this land. Canada now celebrates diversity — we don’t hide it.
For particular branches of some faiths (e.g. Hutterite, certain Roman Catholic orders, Hasidic Jews, some Sikh and Muslim traditions) a particular form of dress is required in all public places.
To suggest that religious dress should be banned from public institutions implies that there is no place in Canada for these people who choose to dress in a conservative fashion.
Canada celebrates freedom of religion, not restriction.
While we value a secular government that is not bound by religious dictates of any faith, I would fear an autocratic state that tells me what I can or cannot wear.
Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd
Balancing the books
Re: Motkaluk plans to reform ‘smoke-and-mirrors’ property tax system, cap annual hikes to 1.16 per cent (Oct. 11)
So, at the end of the day, property taxes on owner-occupied buildings will see property tax increases below the rate of inflation.
What services will have to be cut in order to keep this promise?
@user-7022718: People must realize that services and infrastructure are paid with taxes. While we must ensure value for our taxes, many unrealistically feel that we could fund everything we want by making the city operate more efficiently. What Jenny Motkaluk proposes is a de facto tax decrease, given that the rate of inflation has been more than her 1.16 per cent. That, coupled with her billion-dollar promises, leaves one questioning her figures and her promises.
Keeping workers safe
Re: ‘We’re on this’: Pallister to fearful front-line health workers (Oct. 11)
I have no doubt the premier has a genuine concern for the safety and well-being of front-line workers. What worries me in this article is, who leaked the video to the CBC? I’m sure surveillance video is controlled by the hospital security. Whoever leaked the video should be rooted out and fired. Security departments should be secure.
@user-6967680: You are worried about who leaked the video? There are more pressing concerns starting with the safety of front-line workers.
I see the release of this video as a positive thing. It appears to have stimulated discussion which will, hopefully, lead to safety measures being implemented sooner. They should root out the person who leaked the video and thank him or her for helping to expose the problem.