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YWG (Winnipeg International Airport) - possible LRT line?

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While reading this article about future air developments and economic bonuse's for Winnipeg, this caught my eye:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/airports-master-plan-positions-it-for-growth-277852721.html?cx_navSource=d-more-news

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Airport's master plan positions it for growth

By: Geoff Kirbyson

Posted: 10/2/2014 1:00 AM | Comments:

"There is a hub of economic activity that could pay dividends not just on the airport site itself, but well beyond the boundaries. We're fairly optimistic about the growth projections but (we've developed) a fairly sensible plan that doesn't over-invest in the long-term future but has incremental investments tied with triggers for the (various requirements)," he said.

The WAA is also considering building a light rapid transit line to be able to move passengers from the airport campus to downtown Winnipeg.

BĂ©langer said there are two possible places for it to stop at the airport: either on the second level in front of the terminal building or next to the parkade.

So glad I didn't have to cite that in MLA format... but anywhom, so we have moved in barely five years, from a Route 20 extension, to a possible West Rapid Transit spur line via the St. James ROW, to a WAA-owned Light Rail Line? I am honestly impressed, yet somewhat skeptical as to how this would work. I could see an LRT/Tram/Monorail/etc to Polo Park, but all the way to Downtown? And also, would this be a direct-route express LRT with no other stops, or would it be opened up to use in the West End? I couldn't see this LRT being an express line, unless they want to lose millions of dollars a year. Where would it's stops in between be? And lastly, what will Winnipeg Transit say, or do, if this does go ahead? Better yet, how much service would be re-directed from the Airport, and maybe with the LRT line in operation, even an unthinkable cancellation of some West End and/or Polo Park bus service, how would that be brought around?

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While reading this article about future air developments and economic bonuse's for Winnipeg, this caught my eye:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/airports-master-plan-positions-it-for-growth-277852721.html?cx_navSource=d-more-news

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Airport's master plan positions it for growth

By: Geoff Kirbyson

Posted: 10/2/2014 1:00 AM | Comments:

So glad I didn't have to cite that in MLA format... but anywhom, so we have moved in barely five years, from a Route 20 extension, to a possible West Rapid Transit spur line via the St. James ROW, to a WAA-owned Light Rail Line? I am honestly impressed, yet somewhat skeptical as to how this would work. I could see an LRT/Tram/Monorail/etc to Polo Park, but all the way to Downtown? And also, would this be a direct-route express LRT with no other stops, or would it be opened up to use in the West End? I couldn't see this LRT being an express line, unless they want to lose millions of dollars a year. Where would it's stops in between be? And lastly, what will Winnipeg Transit say, or do, if this does go ahead? Better yet, how much service would be re-directed from the Airport, and maybe with the LRT line in operation, even an unthinkable cancellation of some West End and/or Polo Park bus service, how would that be brought around?

Maybe Winnipeg Transit will own the line and WAA will help fund the construction just like TransLink did with the Canada line. Maybe WAA will also help pay for the operation of the light rail.

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Maybe Winnipeg Transit will own the line and WAA will help fund the construction just like TransLink did with the Canada line. Maybe WAA will also help pay for the operation of the light rail.

Awhile back, WAA mentioned replacing Winnipeg Transit on its property, with it's own private shuttle service. It's one of the main reasons why I'm asking so much about this possible LRT... I'd honestly hate to see Light Rail with $5 fares and private shuttle service, catering specifically to express travel between Downtown and the Airport, replacing all airport bus service (something financially unthinkable), versus an LRT with multiple stations, more service and the private sector deciding to pretty much shut up, and deal with the fact that Winnipeg Transit, as a public service, needs to have Airport access. There would also be alot of people offended, especially anyone living along Sargent, or that works in the area (RRC and HSC included), if LRT was built as specifically an express line. Same with us taxpayers, wondering why one of the higher-density neighborhoods and workplaces in the city wouldn't be covered by Light Rail. Knowing all of the Paula Havixbecks and Scott Fieldings (Rob Ford-esque councillors) in Winnipeg, it sadly might just become a reality.

I have no doubt WAA will fund it! :P I'm just wondering and worried about what kind of demand's and planning will they make with Winnipeg Transit, in order to get their LRT, especially if they're so trigger-happy trying to replace Route 15 and 20 with shuttles, so they can please the private sector into airport investment.

Also another point: if LRT were to have West End access, land values would pull a "Vancouver", skyrocketing along with higher-density developents, and along with that, Winnipeg would have enough tax revenue to start covering some serious defecits. Another reason why WAA shouldn't have an privatized LRT line, or even any shred of influence on the Airport LRT line beyond Berry Street.

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Awhile back, WAA mentioned replacing Winnipeg Transit on its property, with it's own private shuttle service. It's one of the main reasons why I'm asking so much about this possible LRT... I'd honestly hate to see Light Rail with $5 fares and private shuttle service, catering specifically to express travel between Downtown and the Airport, replacing all airport bus service (something financially unthinkable), versus an LRT with multiple stations, more service and the private sector deciding to pretty much shut up, and deal with the fact that Winnipeg Transit, as a public service, needs to have Airport access. There would also be alot of people offended, especially anyone living along Sargent, or that works in the area (RRC and HSC included), if LRT was built as specifically an express line. Same with us taxpayers, wondering why one of the higher-density neighborhoods and workplaces in the city wouldn't be covered by Light Rail. Knowing all of the Paula Havixbecks and Scott Fieldings (Rob Ford-esque councillors) in Winnipeg, it sadly might just become a reality.

I have no doubt WAA will fund it! :P I'm just wondering and worried about what kind of demand's and planning will they make with Winnipeg Transit, in order to get their LRT, especially if they're so trigger-happy trying to replace Route 15 and 20 with shuttles, so they can please the private sector into airport investment.

Also another point: if LRT were to have West End access, land values would pull a "Vancouver", skyrocketing along with higher-density developents, and along with that, Winnipeg would have enough tax revenue to start covering some serious defecits. Another reason why WAA shouldn't have an privatized LRT line, or even any shred of influence on the Airport LRT line beyond Berry Street.

WAA running private shuttle that sounds like that could it fail because fares will be expensive and no would use. Hopefully the city and provincial government say "no" to WAA running the private shuttle and light rail.

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WAA running private shuttle that sounds like that could it fail because fares will be expensive and no would use. Hopefully the city and provincial government say "no" to WAA running the private shuttle and light rail.

That's what I'm hoping for too. I know the NDP government would go ballistic and so would a PC government once they realize the true losse's of an express line and airport service, but if City Council is dominated by Fielding and Havixbeck like it was with Sam Katz run in office, this WAA LRT would have free reign to run as it pleases...

One of my University classe's want me to make a research paper for the end of the course. I'm going to ask my professor and see if I can make a research project on the development of Airport LRT, and possible shift in public transit around Polo Park. Maybe then, I can dig up more information on this.

What's everyone else's opinions about this?

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YWG could consider it, but a cost-benefit analysis shows it makes little sense right now. There isn't so much need for it, and I just don't see why, by 2030, we'll have a mass influx and exodus of people to and from the downtown core. And if WAA did want to build it, they'd have to fund it with a huge AIF per ticket, I would think. Just doesn't seem feasible.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to paying with my PRESTO Card on UP Express this spring :)

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The UPX has had it's fares cut because it was virtually empty. A private LRT for YWG would likely see the same fate.

If the line is extended out towards Red River College, or better yet CentrePort Canada, the LRT could potentially turn a profit if it were in private hands.

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My general impression is that in North America it's more-or-less impossible to operate any local public transit service in an profitable way based on passenger revenue. I doubt a rail line from downtown Winnipeg to the airport would be any different.

The transit services we as a society do operate are subsidized because they are considered essential. My guess is that improving public transit to the airport beyond the current two bus routes wouldn't qualify as essential.

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My general impression is that in North America it's more-or-less impossible to operate any local public transit service in an profitable way based on passenger revenue. I doubt a rail line from downtown Winnipeg to the airport would be any different.

The transit services we as a society do operate are subsidized because they are considered essential. My guess is that improving public transit to the airport beyond the current two bus routes wouldn't qualify as essential.

I do agree, but if the Red River College and CentrePort Canada were along the LRT path, would there be an incentive for any possible private developers for the LRT line, or for the PPP's (Public-Private partnerships)?

As for sole public transit use by Winnipeg Transit, the ridership potential would be there for Airport and Red River College service (Route 28 could effectively be cut-down towards an industrial feeder service that operates during rush hours). CentrePort Canada could facilitate that as well with the rapidly-growing developments there and the need for labor. If the alignment of the LRT potentially reaches the new residential area north of Saskatchewan Avenue, theoretically a possible LRT terminus could both service CentrePort and northern St. James (Route 83 could stop along it to significantly boost ridership and cut travel times for anyone living in the far north of St. James), along with the Murray Industrial Park. The thing is, unless Winnipeg Transit gets more funding, there would need to be a large amount of private investment... something that the WAA, RRC, CentrePort and other large businesses (Boeing, CP, CN, etc) could potentially help out with.

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