Supporting Winnipeg Transit — for all of us
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/09/2020 (975 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Government of Canada is investing hundreds of millions to support public transportation in Canada, of which well over $20 million should be going to Winnipeg Transit.
I understand the importance of investing in our public buses and I am happy to say the federal government is stepping up to support public transit and this is not our first time, either.
Healthy, vibrant public transit systems are important for big cities for numerous reasons. They provide many people with mobility for work, grocery shopping and more; they reduce traffic in general and fewer cars on the road is better for our environment. It is critical that Winnipeg Transit be supported as we have a growing city and public transit is facing one of the most difficult times in its history.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and its impact on our transit system can’t be underestimated. There has been a tremendous drop in ridership, as many Manitobans are working from home, avoiding non-essential trips, or choosing cars and bicycles over the bus.
While some people have the luxury of choosing to drive or working remotely, not all of us are so lucky. Thousands of people in Winnipeg North depend on the bus every day — from essential workers heading to their shifts, to children going to school, to seniors attending medical appointments. As winter approaches, reliable bus service is critically important.
Even in difficult times, Winnipeggers need and deserve accessible, reliable public transit. Once we’ve weathered the storm of COVID, we’ll need an effective transit network more than ever.
Good public transit is one of the most important building blocks for healthy and sustainable growth in our communities.
It’s obvious to me that we need to build a better network, with extended routes, more reliable service and a service that is safe. In a place like Winnipeg, a winter-friendly bus service is essential.
Our city is constantly expanding but the residents of new developments are literally being left out in the cold. I recently met with a group of residents from Castlebury Meadows, on the east side of King Edward Street, where hundreds of families do not have the services they need, leaving students and seniors to walk over 20 minutes to catch a bus. I have talked to some residents of Winnipeg North who feel scared at times to ride the bus because of abusive riders, which is not acceptable.
Effective public transit helps students learn, it helps families get to work, and it helps ensure our seniors aren’t left in isolation. Without a reliable, sustainably funded Winnipeg Transit, we don’t stand a chance in the fight against climate change. We need to choose to support and expand essential services like this.
I want to say a sincere thank-you to all our hard-working bus drivers, who have a challenging job at the best of times. Now they’re facing more difficulties than ever, as they’re putting their health on the line to provide us with an essential service every day. For my part, I promise to keep doing my best to support you.
Winnipeg North constituency report
Kevin Lamoureux is the Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North.