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jhood135

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  1. The province is currently refusing to send the request for funding on to the Federal Government. Probably because it requires a financial commitment from the province. But those funds from the Feds expire on Dec 31 I believe so they better get moving on it. Bowman has apparently brought it up with the Premier more than once.
  2. Yes, this is great news. I love the new artic’s and I know they’re already retiring the old ones. My comment is that we’re getting an additional 12 new ones through the ZEB program, on top of the 20 replacements. For a total of 32 new artic’s by the end of 2022. So more are coming. But I do agree they can’t come fast enough!
  3. From what I understand, we are getting 12 more new artic’s next year - 6 battery electric and 6 hydrogen fuel cell.
  4. Winnipeg Transit is piloting the new On Request service discussed in the Master Plan this year. I think they’re doing this on all the DART routes but I’m not sure. It’s been discussed at committee quite a few times over the past few months. Essentially, the app will ask where you want to go and when, and will tell you when to be at the stop for an On Request bus to pick you up. The bus driver will have an iPad that calculates the route in real time with the requests made by the app. If someone in between makes a request while the bus is travelling, the iPad can update the route to pick up that passenger if possible. This is a big update from what Transit says drivers are currently doing, which is using paper maps. What I’m not 100% on is where you can go with On Demand. If you’re going to a hub spot in the On Request zone, like a mall, then the bus will take you there. But if you’re travelling outside of the On Request zone, the bus will take you to a Transit Hub where you can connect with regular fixed-route service. I’m not sure how much this differs from DART but it definitely seems more user friendly, as well as more convenient for the bus drivers. I could see ridership going up on these routes if they play their cards right.
  5. Sorry to bump this post from long ago, but I’ve identified these buses as being used in the filming of “Nobody”, shot here in Winnipeg in the Fall/Winter of 2019. I’ve attached some screenshots from the film’s trailer. One of the buses was used for a fight sequence and was played around with pretty good (bars being ripped off and used for hitting, etc)
  6. I’m thrilled it’s passing, but am concerned about some councillors’ comments. I appreciate the concerns about the plan not being fully fledged out - but lots of these projects won’t be built for at least a decade, so any work that’s done on them upfront in regards to costing etc. will be irrelevant when we go to build it in 10 years. All these projects need to be designed in detail before anything happens, and of course any new infrastructure or route network has to go back to council for approval at the time. Unless council is willing to throw all the money at transit at once and have all infrastructure be completed in 10 years, but I don’t see that happening with the current council given their concerns regarding debt. I am also very happy Councillor Allard’s amendment to only fund the garage and electric buses and push everything else to next year’s gas tax revenue got rejected. They talked about how important accessibility is in their decision to pass this or not, and then suggest delaying the two projects that are designed to improve accessibility (wheelchair securements and priority infrastructure). Same thing with the safety project (radios). It was a purely political move to try and get 10 more ZEB’s on the road, which quite truthfully, would not affect service positively in any way or improve any individual rider’s experience on transit whatsoever. It would just look good for the city. I’m glad all six ICIP projects were passed as proposed. I think they have the votes in council to pass this officially, but time will tell...
  7. Unfortunately, my Councillor is not on the committee, and didn’t speak today. I have a good relationship with their office, though, and am working with them on a couple community-specific transit projects, so I will be sure to contact them when it goes to Council. Councillors not reading reports that go to their committees is an ongoing problem. I am quite often given 100+ page documents at work in the evening and am expected to have them read and ready to discuss the next morning. And I typically work 12-14hr days Mon-Fri. If I were to come back and say I didn’t read it and ask for a one-month extension, I would likely lose my job. Students don’t get off when they don’t do their homework. It shouldn’t be acceptable for elected officials either. Even Mayor Bowman, or at least his staff, read the TMP as it’s been all over the Mayor Bowman social media all week. I wonder if they should extend the deadline for Items to one week before the meeting instead of four days...or make it so they can’t lay over reports because nobody read it!
  8. This was an incredibly frustrating meeting to watch. Councillors complaining about how transit should be focused on improving service within the existing budget and prioritizing electric buses, and how there should be cross-communication and teamwork with the Transportation Master Plan...which anyone who even quickly glimpsed at any five pages of the TMP will be able to very easily tell you is the entire purpose of the thing. Then there was a comment from another Councillor about how it's essential to improve transit for users in St. Vital looking to get to the U of M. They then learned in the meeting a couple hours later that they're proposing a transit bridge to fix this issue, and had very little to say as they realized. There was also a request for a very specific timeline on the rollout of On-Demand Services in new developments as Councillors are worried about delivering on promises for the upcoming election. This documentation isn't brand new. Master Plan consultation started in the beginning of 2019, and the first network was presented a year and a half ago. It's changed since then, sure, but the concepts are exactly the same. Councillors have seen the drafts and have been informed in several committee meetings and asked dozens of questions. It wasn't hidden from them before Monday. The only real new thing in the last four days are the numbers - which Transit pointed out are currently estimates, and more work is needed on the actual designs before Class 3 estimates can be made. So Councillors complain about how there have been so many master plans in the past, and how all of them took so long to make happen, and how the promise to build all rapid transit by 2030 is now impossible. In the same paragraph, to combat the issue of slow-moving progress at City Hall, it's suggested that there should be up to a 180 day extension on voting for this. It was hard to watch the entire meeting. I felt like banging my head against a wall.
  9. They’ve been saying March’s meeting for a while now. The province wants to pull the remaining Federal transit infrastructure funding from the city and give it to other municipalities for non-transit projects, claiming there are no active proposals to use it in Winnipeg. So the city is trying to get this out sooner than later to try and stop the province from doing that.
  10. The same meeting states final public engagement, including the release of different conceptual designs, will take place in the fall, and COVID preventing public engagement is the biggest reason for this delay. So I guess we just have to hang tight though the summer... Meanwhile, Bowman mentioned at a press conference this week (or maybe last? I don’t have a sense of time anymore) that the provincial government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the TMP and will help the city access all the federal funds for transit infrastructure possible, which is somewhat encouraging.
  11. Transit gave an update on the TMP during a budget consultation that was in February (I think?) It was pushed back to September as a date that would be presented to council. I think one of the planners on the team told me why, but I’ve forgotten at this moment. According to that meeting, the fastest the TMP can be implemented is 5 years - if city council decides to be very giving with heavy infrastructure funding and higher service funding. It can be adopted in 10 years if they wanted to be less giving. Most of the money needed for it will be for infrastructure - more than rush hour diamond lanes are coming for this. I’m told 24/7 curb-separated bus lanes is what we should expect to see in the next phase of the TMP. I was also told converting the museum platforms of Union Station will be recommended. We will see proposed illustrations of all of this sometime around June-ish if I recall correctly. In terms of service, there will be several options presented to council ranging in price from highest to lowest - highest obviously meaning the best service, lowest meaning not that frequent service. At the end of the day, it’s up to our elected officials - at all levels - as to whether or not this should move forward. There is tons of pressure being put on the city to improve service, so there’s no question in my mind that city council will pass it, the question is which funding level will they choose? The other question is, how much will be kicked in provincially and federally? This is the conversation that will be held in September.
  12. This is interesting as I’ve seen some feedback from the public over the new routing system - what if you don’t want to go where Blue goes? What if you just wanted to get from the outlet mall to the shops at Kenaston common? I assume that’s why the routing exists, even if it’s only during peak. Even getting from Bridgewater to the businesses on Scurfield takes longer because there used to be a bus that would run right through there (the 86).Now you have to ride to Blue and take a total of 3 buses to get somewhere that takes less than 5 minutes to drive to. It’ll be interesting to see how those community-based trips are affected.
  13. Here’s a link to the video I made today of the first bus going through Seel: I stayed off to practice social distancing but I’m happy I got to be there and witness it! Maybe something can be arranged for a “first ride” after things cool down a little.
  14. I expect they'll post all the new routes on the signs the night before. I imagine the concern would be if they put the numbers up now before it's in service, people will get confused and end up waiting for a bus that won't come. I actually think now may be the perfect time to launch the new service, given that ridership will be low so they can work out the kinks without affecting many people. That was the original theory with launching in April instead of the beginning of the school term - just now there will be even fewer riders. There will be kinks with the new network, and the route scheduling and timing will be adjusted no doubt, and it's good to figure that out without anyone really being impacted. Making a schedule is one thing - putting it into service defines its flaws. All the arrival times, transfer times and route durations are just estimates at this point, time will tell what they actually turn out to be. As well, Vancouver is going ahead with launching its next BRT route today (the R2), so Winnipeg should have no issue launching ours. The challenge will be how people will react when they do have to use the service again. The good news is that it'll be streamlined to be more efficient, but their routes will have changed on them while they were away. I'm not so worried about the south - the advertising for affected areas has been really good - but I'm worried about the east and their changes to the 47, especially if no signage has gone up yet. The good news is, when all those riders do have to return to their normal lives, enough time will have passed for all map apps to be updated and one would hope there will be some forgiveness with being late to places after being away for so long.
  15. I was just looking at the fleet roster on the Wiki, and saw all the old 400’s and early 500’s have been retired. Does this mean there are no more buses on the road with those old destination signs? (I don’t know what they’re called, they just weren’t LED.)
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