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What’s Next for Winnipeg Transit?


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With Phase 2 of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor finally open, I guess all eyes are on the Transit Master Plan, which was technically implemented in part with the opening of Phase 2. Eight years came and went between the opening of Phase 1 and the opening of Phase 2. Will we see an implementation of this plan, or a variation on it, in the next ten years?

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So... IRPW laid over the TMP until their next meeting. Many of the councillors lacked a fundamental understanding of what was happening with this, and were focused on very very narrow issues (some of

Quite interesting how only now they're entertaining taking the new route 662 "95" past the current Shaftesbury loop to Outlet Collection and just accepting that train delays will be a fact of life for

Agreed. If you’re reading this I strongly suggest contacting your councillor directly, especially if they are on the IPRW committee. The vote was 4-0 unanimous to extend this and many other major issu

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Step one is for the master plan to actually be released. We've only seen a draft so far. The final plan was originally scheduled to be presented to city council in "Spring 2020", but I imagine the current situation will push that back.

I, too, am curious to see how much of the master plan actually gets implemented. It is explicitly being presented as a long-term 25-year "vision" for the transit system, not as a quick and easily-implemented redesign of bus routes like some other cities have done recently. My experience with "visionary" master plans in universities is that they are announced with great fanfare, then get put on a shelf and ignored. I hope the transit master plan doesn't turn out like that.

The effectiveness of the plan hinges on a spine-and-feeder setup, with six RT spokes as the spine (Portage, North Main, Regent, St. Mary's, Southwest, and Grant, through-routed to form three RT routes). The transit priority on those spine routes will have to be beefed up considerably before they can function effectively as spines. The current rush-hour traffic congestion on the downtown section of Portage would completely destroy the schedule of the proposed Portage-Southwest RT route. I suppose they could jog it down to Graham in the interim, until the funding and political will are found to increase transit priority on Portage.

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A bus driver told me once that the Portage Avenue diamond lanes once stretched all the way down Portage (the parking lanes and light standard placement are a legacy of this). The rush hour congestion on Portage is worse heading eastbound at the PM rush, so the bus lane in that direction may need to be reopened in that direction for RT on Portage to work. As well, I find it interesting to see that the TMP shows no service on Graham at all.

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1 hour ago, car4041 said:

Step one is for the master plan to actually be released. We've only seen a draft so far. The final plan was originally scheduled to be presented to city council in "Spring 2020", but I imagine the current situation will push that back.

I, too, am curious to see how much of the master plan actually gets implemented. It is explicitly being presented as a long-term 25-year "vision" for the transit system, not as a quick and easily-implemented redesign of bus routes like some other cities have done recently. My experience with "visionary" master plans in universities is that they are announced with great fanfare, then get put on a shelf and ignored. I hope the transit master plan doesn't turn out like that.

The effectiveness of the plan hinges on a spine-and-feeder setup, with six RT spokes as the spine (Portage, North Main, Regent, St. Mary's, Southwest, and Grant, through-routed to form three RT routes). The transit priority on those spine routes will have to be beefed up considerably before they can function effectively as spines. The current rush-hour traffic congestion on the downtown section of Portage would completely destroy the schedule of the proposed Portage-Southwest RT route. I suppose they could jog it down to Graham in the interim, until the funding and political will are found to increase transit priority on Portage.

I see no reason why the next stage of the TMP hasn't been released. Seeing as right now it's only a document, this can be done on the computer and posted, no?

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If/when the BLUE line is extended down Portage, how could that work utilizing existing infrastructure? Portage could easily be made to have diamond lanes from end to end, but how would traffic lights be dealt with/synchronized? On-street rapid transit could work (although some SWRT1 level stations would be nice), however proper changes would need to be made for it to work. One such change could be moving all stops to after intersections so that when a bus passes over a detector the light would turn green, allowing it to not have to stop for lights. Another would be closing off intersections. However would that really be feasible?

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Diamond lanes are as easy as installing signs and traffic-light synchronization could probably be handled on a computer. Already, it’s easy to not get caught at a red light anywhere between Moray and Ferry as most of the traffic lights on Portage will not change unless a driver drives right up to the stop line and/or a pedestrian presses the button. Closing non-signalized intersections or even converting them to right-in-right-out will anger a lot of drivers (as if Winnipeg drivers aren’t angry enough already).

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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.

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16 minutes ago, jhood135 said:

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.

Of course, all these timetables are very much subject to change, with Council not likely to convene any time soon due to the virus, though what they have in store would definitely be interesting to see. With regards to funding, seeing as the provincial government ripped up the 50/50 funding agreement, I don’t see them helping out a lot.

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  • 1 month later...

At an Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee meeting the other day, they extended the deadline for a report on the TMP from June to next March. http://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/dmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=564434&isMobile=yes

So we’ll have to wait at least nine months longer than we would have otherwise to see anything else. Which means it may take longer for the plan to be implemented.

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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.

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9 hours ago, jhood135 said:

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...

Even with the lockdown, it sure seemed it didn’t take long for us to get to mid-May, so hoping there isn’t a “second wave” of COVID as doctors are warning about, it won’t feel like too long until we get to see something. I wonder how many changes from that draft will be made. I hope they change their mind about removing service on Whytewold (because I use that bus quite a bit), but I guess Route A would get me to/from Unicity.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm starting to worry that the City of Winnipeg is adopting the view that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a permanent reduction in commuting to work. That, combined with their belief that battery-electric vehicles as the preferred "green" solution to urban transportation's climate change challenges, means the future is less transit, not more.

If the City of Winnipeg's official Transportation Master Plan is written from the belief that less transit is the future, Winnipeg Transit is going to get worse not better.

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  • 2 months later...

As was posted in the general thread, the updated version of the Master Plan has been posted. The new network definitely looks interesting to say the least, particularly with how convoluted that Route J is. Some service gaps will be created, mostly in industrial areas, but I wouldn’t be happy about losing all service to Whytewold Road. https://winnipegtransit.com/en/major-projects/transit-master-plan/#tab-proposed

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6 minutes ago, bus is coming 1965 said:

Wouldn't of this been on the transit master plan? 

Yes, that’s the TMP map, but the southwestern corridor is being largely unchanged with the TMP. If the 693 were being extended to Seel, I would imagine that there would be a dotted line along the Transitway straight from Chancellor to Seel, but there isn’t. That “693” should be a “690.”

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36 minutes ago, SirAndrew710 said:

Yes, that’s the TMP map, but the southwestern corridor is being largely unchanged with the TMP. If the 693 were being extended to Seel, I would imagine that there would be a dotted line along the Transitway straight from Chancellor to Seel, but there isn’t. That “693” should be a “690.”

Ah yes. And no 694?

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32 minutes ago, MMP15 said:

Changed to DART. 

They’re gonna change a lot to DART, though it looks like the three existing DART routes will be replaced with fixed-route service. All or part of the areas currently served by the 16, 44, 49, 77, 82, 83, 85, 87, 92, 95, 98 and 694 will get DART service. I do see that Harbour View South, Lakeside Meadows, Meadows West and Tyndall Park have both feeder routes that pass through them and are shaded as DART areas - maybe they’ll get fixed-route service weekdays and Saturdays and DART service evenings and Sundays?

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4 hours ago, ConnorsCompShow said:

Whew, that's a lot to unpack. I already spotted one potentially fatal issue with P, that being that Dawson Rd was shut down west of Royal Mint Dr.

I saw new traffic lights partially installed on Fermor, somewhere east of Royal Mint Dr (Here?). I think a new road might be built south of there, but I don't know. Additionally, I believe Royal Mint Drive goes all the way to Fermor, yes?

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39 minutes ago, Isaac Williams said:

Additionally, I believe Royal Mint Drive goes all the way to Fermor, yes?

Google Maps shows that it does, but looking at Street View, it appears as though Royal Mint ends at Dawson. WT has a short-term TMP map on that website that doesn’t include Route P at all, so they’ve bought themselves sometime to resolve that issue.

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