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History of Winnipeg Transit

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When I moved to Winnipeg in 1985 I began collecting route timetables. My collection now numbers more than 1000 different timetables. I though I'd scan and post a few older route maps. If people are interested I can keep scanning and post more...

60 Pembina 1987-04-12

60Pembina-1987-04-12.jpg

Note the two extra rush hour branches, one to Fort Richmond and the other to Waverley Heights. Also note the open loop through downtown, in on Midtown Bridge and out on Osborne Bridge.

Pembina 1983-09-04

Pembina-1983-09-04.jpg

This must have been close to the end of unnumbered routes. Note the complete absence of the branches seen in the 1987 map. Pamphlet is "Table 42".


Route 17 used to have three names... Academy, McGregor, and Stafford.

17 McGregor 1985-09-01

17McGregor-1985-09-01.jpg

17 Academy 1985-11-17

17Academy-1985-11-17.jpg

(Later detached and combined with the Watt to form Route 20).

17 Stafford 1985-11-17

17Stafford-1985-11-17.jpg

(Later detached and and added to the Sherbrook bus. Stafford lost it's one-seat ride to downtown). Note the weekend/holiday-only service into Wildewood Park.

Back in the 1980's separate pamphlets were published for through-downtown routes with different route names for different directions.

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Here's a blast from the past. Winnipeg Transit #42, the shelter washing bus.

winnipeg-CWTS42gm-mperry.jpg

Slide sleeve is stamped "Mark Perry".

Scanned from the J.E. Baker collection,

Manitoba Transit Heritage Association.

Service equipment converted from a regular bus.

And for anyone wondering, yes, the smokestack is part of the vehicle. The chimney was venting for internal equipment.

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When I moved to Winnipeg in 1985 I began collecting route timetables. My collection now numbers more than 1000 different timetables. I though I'd scan and post a few older route maps. If people are interested I can keep scanning and post more...

Would you have any schedules of now-obsolete/removed routes? Particularly the 81 to Headingley, 73/74, potentially of the 18 to the Perimeter or some of the first routes to use St. Vital Mall as a layover/terminus?

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Would you have any schedules of now-obsolete/removed routes? Particularly the 81 to Headingley, 73/74, potentially of the 18 to the Perimeter or some of the first routes to use St. Vital Mall as a layover/terminus?

81 Headingley 1984 06 17

81Headingley-1984-06-17.jpg

73 Leila 1986 02 09

73Leila-1986-02-09.jpg

18 North Main 1985 06 16

18NorthMain-1985-06-16.jpg

Pulberry 1982 06 20

Pulberry-1982-06-20.jpg

I don't believe there has ever been a route 74 although I think that would be a good route number for the University of Manitoba - Polo Park via Kenaston route...

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Nice picture! I don't know which former WT number this one was when it was in passenger service, but 44 was previously 117 and 45 had been 124. The other 1962 TDH4517 buses that were renumbered in 1984 and remained in service for a few more years as 762-766 were formerly 125,126,112, 114 and 129 respectively.

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That Pulberry route is interesting. Was there access to Plaza Drive right from Bishop at one point?

Yes. It was used by the Pulberry/Dalhousie route which eventually became the 76 Fort Garry/St. Vital. Once the Bishop Grandin westbound to Plaza northbound exit was closed and the road loop built, the 16 Osborne St. Amant was extended to Plaza Drive.

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Before the Chief Peguis was built the 75 (Lagimodiere) there was no 77 Crosstown North. The 75 Lagimodiere (now Crosstown East) extended to Henderson Hwy. The 73 Leila almost followed the same routing as 77 between Red River College and Main. The 66 had extended from Polo Park to Red River College.

The 78 was actually called Waverley. (See 1986 Map on Page 1)

Some time around the 1990s. Winnipeg Transit renamed a bunch of their routes. 21/22 was called the Portage Red/Green Express.

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I got a personal message asking that I post a few more old route maps, so here are some more

Marion 1981 04 06

Marion-1981-04-06.jpg

St. Anne's 1979 02 18

St-Annes-1979-02-18.jpg

Talbot 1982 04 04 (second pamphlet just for the Assiniboine Avenue part)

Talbot-1982-04-04.jpgTalbot-Assiniboine-1982-04-04.jpg

Watt 1979-06-24

Watt-1979-06-24.jpg

Westwood 1978-09-03

Westwood-1978-09-03.jpg

I was also asked for the 12 William so here are the three oldest pamphlets I have for the William

William 1982-05-20 (core section on William)

William-1982-06-20.jpg

Note the Sunday service looped via William, McPhilips, Notre Dame, and Arlington.

William (Polo Park) 1982 06 20 (shows weekday-only extension to Kildonan Place)

William-Polo-Park-1982-06-20.jpg

William (Maples) 1978 09 03

William-Maples-1978-09-03.jpg

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On 1/17/2017 at 11:07 PM, trebor204 said:

How long has Winnipeg had monthly passes? They were probably one of the first in Canada, at least since 1967 when my family moved there. I also remember the weekly passes that were sold on buses. From 1967 until they were abolished in April 1969, they were sold on buses and cost 45¢, which included the first ride. Subsequent rides during the week of validity coast only 10¢ vs. the then-regular adult fare of 15¢. They went exact-fare some time after I moved away in 1973, though even in my last year or so there the drivers' union was already pushing for it, and most North American systems were already going that way.

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On 2016-01-03 at 0:57 PM, DavidW said:

I don't believe there has ever been a route 74 although I think that would be a good route number for the University of Manitoba - Polo Park via Kenaston route...

I just saw a video from 2011 from WT # 751 of the Mylar roller signs from '97.

There was a planned Rte. 73 Bishop Grandin and a Rte. 74 Crosstown South.

WT never implemented these routes.

 

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On 2016-01-04 at 11:04 AM, BusRider said:

That Pulberry route is interesting. Was there access to Plaza Drive right from Bishop at one point?

From the uwto.org archives, ca. 1962 Winnipeg Trib aritcle...there was some local opposition to the Pulberry feeder originally.

https://web.archive.org/web/20091213173202/http://www.uwto.org:80/trib/transit_1962pulberrybus.html

UWTO Home Page


 
Quote

 

The Winnipeg Tribune
April 17, 1962
 
Metro To Decide Bus Route
St. Vital Hears Strong Protest

Despite strong objections from a homeowners delegation, St. Vital council adopted Monday a motion by Councillor Florence Pierce giving metro transit division a free hand in deciding the route of a bus service through the Pulberry subdivision.

Arguments on the route were presented by spokesmen for two delegations. Metro director of streets and transit D. I. MacDonald gave metro's position and Mayor Harry Collins and Councillor Pierce fired verbal volleys at each other.

The route question was settled at the last regular meeting of council when a motion was passed to inform metro of the route proposed by council's transit committee. But petitions against the route by homeowners in the subdivision prompted the amending motion by Councillor Pierce.

Best Service

The motion Monday asked metro to decide upon a route that would best serve the people in the subdivision and, at the same time, provide adequate transportation to and from the St. Boniface Sanitorium.

Mr. MacDonald intimated that the route would go from St. Vital Rd., along River Rd., back down Parkville Dr. to Pulberry Rd. and along to St. Vital Rd., thus looping around the subdivision.

Mr. MacDonald said that Moore Ave. would be considered as an alternative as it is the most "central" street and would be accessible to the most people. The present Sanitorium bus service, he said, would be used in the subdivision.

 

 

On 2016-01-04 at 9:01 PM, trebor204 said:

The 66 had extended from Polo Park to Red River College.

The Grant bus had always gone to Red River College, ever since my earliest years.

Some time in the 1990s, 1995 or 1997 WT, when the 77 Crosstown North was first started to operate, the 66 Grant was scaled back to travel between Downtown and Polo Park.

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For any streetcar fans, the tracks at Garry/Ellice/Notre Dame, part of the original "Garry Loop", were uncovered yesterday due to the ongoing road reconstruction project and are slowly being taken out. Quite complicated trackwork due to the geometry of the intersection, as can be seen in the 1930 map from the Baker book:

garryloop.thumb.png.9e09a64a2a6c88e56369f4bd2d136128.png.

Does anyone know if there was streetcar track on the extremely short section of Garry between Ellice and Notre Dame? Baker says that the track on Garry went from Portage to Ellice, which would imply that it didn't continue north to Notre Dame. And that appears to be the case on his map as well. But elsewhere in the book he says that Notre Dame cars used Garry Loop to turn around (e.g. p. 70) and I can't see how they could do that without a direct connection from Garry to Notre Dame.

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14 hours ago, car4041 said:

Baker says that the track on Garry went from Portage to Ellice, which would imply that it didn't continue north to Notre Dame. And that appears to be the case on his map as well. But elsewhere in the book he says that Notre Dame cars used Garry Loop to turn around (e.g. p. 70) and I can't see how they could do that without a direct connection from Garry to Notre Dame.

Found an answer to my question here. No track connection from Garry Loop to Notre Dame Avenue was needed because the Notre Dame cars turned around via Garry Loop in a rather convoluted way: east on Notre Dame, west on Portage, north on Garry, west on Ellice, north on Donald, west on Notre Dame.

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The new trolleybus book Tires and Wires is due out next month. I wrote a firsthand account of Winnipeg's last run October 30, 1970.

UPDATE: My copy of the book came today; all that was dropped from my piece was the following postscript:

·       The trolley wires on downtown Portage and Main were taken down before Christmas 1970; those near the outer end of the Corydon line stayed up well into spring 1971.

·       The Last Trolley Bus, 1768, was fortunately preserved; it was moved to Fort Rouge Transit Base, where I saw it a couple of times before I left Winnipeg in August 1973. After being moved around to various other places, it’s now in the care of the Manitoba Transit Heritage association, who plan to restore it.

·       Supervisor Marshall, my companion on the last trip, reportedly died about a year later.

·       On January 1, 1972, with the advent of Unicity, Metro Transit became Winnipeg Transit, which it remains to this day.

·       A 1982 proposal to bring back trolley buses failed, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the cost of replacing the dismantled infrastructure. Flyer Industries was then building the E902 trolley buses for Vancouver. Another similar proposal in 2009 failed for much the same reasons, shortly after New Flyer Industries was then had built the current low-floor Vancouver trolleys.

·       Only twice since 1973 have I been back to Winnipeg: in June 2001 and June 2011, both times for the Bus History Association convention. On the first trip I learned that Mill Street Substation, one of the last relics of the trolley bus system, was demolished in 1995, to make way for Canwest Global (now Shaw) Park. Another former trolleybus substation, at 216 Academy Road and Harrow Street (across from Kelvin), has been converted into a house. At least one other former trolleybus substation building, on Osborne just south of Corydon, was still standing; it’s now home to the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres. I did not see 1768 on either trip.

Edited by Mark Walton
My copy of the book came today.
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When I attended Kelvin High School in the early 80s I would take the Kenaston/Taylor feeder bus from Renfrew @ Taylor to Kenaston @ Grant and wait for the "Stafford School Bus", signed [Stafford ¦ Downtown]. Back then, before the Internet there were no published maps. I just assumed that once this bus got to Kelvin it would go Chartered and proceed to the Ft. Rouge garage.

Nowadays, if I attended school there, I could not even do this anymore because WT changed the routing in the past year or two. Now it goes all the way to like the end of the 29 Sherbrook route to Logan and also to Polo Park and also to Windermere. Instead of travellling along Grant Ave., this route goes down Corydon.

https://winnipegtransit.com/en/routes/S414

Does anyone have a route map from the early 80s?

On 1/31/2019 at 5:12 PM, Mark Walton said:

 At least one other former trolleybus substation building, on Osborne just south of Corydon, was still standing; it’s now home to the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres. I did not see 1768 on either trip.

 

That's now gone too. Always wondered what that electrical looking building was for. It's being  made way for a hi-rise apartment building next to Osbone Pl. office bldg.

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On 6/11/2019 at 12:18 AM, LilZebra said:

When I attended Kelvin High School in the early 80s I would take the Kenaston/Taylor feeder bus from Renfrew @ Taylor to Kenaston @ Grant and wait for the "Stafford School Bus", signed [Stafford ¦ Downtown]. Back then, before the Internet there were no published maps. I just assumed that once this bus got to Kelvin it would go Chartered and proceed to the Ft. Rouge garage.

Nowadays, if I attended school there, I could not even do this anymore because WT changed the routing in the past year or two. Now it goes all the way to like the end of the 29 Sherbrook route to Logan and also to Polo Park and also to Windermere. Instead of travellling along Grant Ave., this route goes down Corydon.

https://winnipegtransit.com/en/routes/S414

Does anyone have a route map from the early 80s?

That's now gone too. Always wondered what that electrical looking building was for. It's being  made way for a hi-rise apartment building next to Osbone Pl. office bldg.

When I went to Kelvin I often rode the Corydon-Stafford part of the route. Many of my schoolmates, and some teachers, rode it too.

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I'm working at improving the Winnipeg Transit Wikipedia page, especially citing its early 20th century history. Did a search for Suburban Rapid Transit Company. Stumbled on Sept. 1920 ad that Winnipeg Electric Railway Company was so PISSED over being told to remove their tracks (at their expense) in the North Main area in 1920 that they took out a full page ad in the Trib:

That The Public May Know
The Facts

Manitoba Legislature Altered the Contract

THE COMPANY’S FRANCHISE WITH THE CITY WAS ALTERED BY THE MANITOBA LEGISLATURE when it passed the Public Utilities Act in 1912. The effect of passing that act was to tack on to the provisions of the act, GIVING ABSOLUTE JURISDICTION TO THE COMMISSION OVER STREET RAILWAYS, THEIR OPERATION AND THEIR RATES OF FARE TO BE CHARGED. Numerous orders have been made by the Commission changing the provisions of the contract, including changes of fares.

On City’s application franchise rights of W.E.R.Co. & W.S. & L.W. Rly. Co. Interfered with by commission.

The effect of the first application by the City of Winnipeg under the act was to infringe on franchise rights. In June 1912, the City made application against Winnipeg Electric Railway Company and Winnipeg, Selkirk & Lake Winnipeg Railway Co. For an order requiring the construction of a double streetcar track on Main Street North to the new City Limits, the removal by Winnipeg, Selkirk & Lake Winnipeg Railway Company of its tracks of its tracks off of Main Street North, and for operation of the Winnipeg Electric system to the new City limits. The order was made as asked for by the City, notwithstanding the fact that the Winnipeg, Selkirk & Lake Winnipeg Railway Company had an exclusive franchise covering the area between the old City limits and the new City limits. The Selkirk Company was obliged to tear up its tracks and give up what rights it had within this area – a clear interference with the franchise of the Selkirk Company.

On City’s application Commission forced W.E.R. Co. To expend large sums to take care of stray currents

Again, the City asked the Commission for an order requiring the Company to put in a very expensive system to take care of stray currents (electrolysis). This order was made as asked for by the City and resulted in an expenditure by the Company of approximately $200,000. The Company contended at the time that this was a clear violation of its contract. Under the contract, the City Engineer, had to approve of the type of construction, including all appliances for preventing damage by electrolysis. All of the Company’s lines have been built under this approval.

FARES

Templeton Ave., West Kildonan

IN A NUMBER OF INSTANCES THE COMPANY’S FARES HAVE BEE INTERFERED WITH BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION.

The Company is required to carry passengers in the Rural Municipality of West Kildonan, outside the Winnipeg City limits, and in the exclusive territory of the Selkirk Company, at City fares.

East Kildonan

In East Kildonan the City fare was extended and tickets were ordered to be sold at rates greatly under the franchise rates.

Municipality of Assiniboia

The Suburban Rapid Transit Fares in the Municipality of Assiniboia were reduced below franchise rates and the City fare extended to Deer Lodge.

Numerous other orders were made by the Commission involving large sums of money by the Company.

WINNIPEG ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY

September 10, 1920

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Winnipeg Tribune
September 17, 1955

The Days of the Maryland Dinky  (link)

Something rather unique could have been claimed for the Winnipeg Transit system, about a half century ago, because for a year or more it operated possibly the shortest branch line of any organization of its kind in the world. It was actually not more than 200 yards from terminus to terminus. It was unique also in that it was the first one-man electric streetcar to run in Winnipeg, and what is even more remarkable, although it ran for about 12 hours every weekday, not a single fare was collected nor a transfer issued. Just a few people might remember what was known as the Maryland Dinky. Almost a duplicate of the famous Toonerville Trolley in appearance, it made the round trip across Maryland Bridge every few minutes from seven in the morning until seven in the evening, connecting with regular cars for the city near the Misericordia Hospital.

And still in reminiscing mood, no conductor or motorman who was running on Portage at the time will ever forget the opening of the Eaton's store on July 17th, 1905. Prior to that date when once a westbound trolley got away from Main St. it usually had its complement of passengers, but with the opening of Eaton's all this changed overnight. The comment of an Irish conductor will convey a faint impression of what I mean. He was heard to remark "Portage Avenue! Sure and it ain't what it used to be at all, at all. Faith and it used to be a heavenly run -- just a heavenly run, but now its nothing but  women and parcels and kids and more women and kids, and they're none of 'em angels either. Believe me I'm booking onto a St. Boniface run next change." And he did.

And now just a brief glance at the rate of pay and the working hours of those days. During the few years I was employed as a motorman, wages rose from a beginner's rate of 16c per hour to 21 or 22 cents, while 2 years of service was rewarded with the maximum rate of pay which rose during the same period from 21 c to 26 or 27 c per hour, and while the cost of living was low in comparison with today, one had to exercise economy to raise a family on that pay. Most of the regular runs called for a ten hour day, six days a week, but there were a few 9 hour runs and several 12 hour runs. On all the principal routes was one shift known as an "Early and Late" which stretched out occasionally even longer than 12 hours.

 

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On 11/5/2014 at 11:36 PM, armorand said:

While doing research at the U of M today, found a map of "Plan Winnipeg" and proposed changes to Winnipeg Transit, circa 1975-1980.

10355879_1559121937656307_24716789243232

I can see Routes 64 and (1)80 in there, along with Route's 51, 91, 49, 18 Riverbend, 16... it's also scary to see my local route (26), with seperate headways on what I presume is Berry, and King Edward (or maybe Queens). Also of note is the Transit Corridor, which I'm trying to centre my research focus on...

That link doesn't work. Can you repoint it to the link again?

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2 hours ago, LilZebra said:

That link doesn't work. Can you repoint it to the link again?

I made that almost five years ago - i can try though, but sadly no promises.

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