- According to the conclusions of a national public transportation evaluation, Manitoba is the only province in Canada where public transit bus conditions are improving.
- Winnipeggers are resuming their use of public transportation, however average weekday daily board levels remain at 55 to 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
According to the findings of a national assessment on public transportation, Manitoba is the only province in Canada where the condition of public transit buses is improving.
Statistics Canada’s 2020 Annual Passenger Bus as well as Urban Transit Survey asked towns, communities, and transit agencies to rank the general condition of their public transportation buses.
While public transport bus conditions in Canada dropped in 2020 compared to 2018, Manitoba saw gains.
According to the poll, only 4% of buses were classified as “poor or very poor condition,” while over half were classified as “excellent or very good.”
The 640 buses in Winnipeg Transit’s fleet account for 94% of all public transit buses in Manitoba.
Recent investments in Winnipeg’s transportation system, such as the BLUE fast transit line, according to Infrastructure & Public Works Committee Chair Matt Allard, are enhancing public transit conditions in the city.
“In terms of our bus fleet, we’re properly replacing those older buses,” Allard added.
“This improves the rider’s entire experience.” It’s a better experience for the public when you ride on a newer bus.”
THE DECLINE OF THE BUS RIDERSHIP
While the physical condition of Winnipeg buses has improved in recent years, the number of persons using public transportation has decreased dramatically due to the pandemic.
As per the City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Transit handled 48,770,208 passengers in 2019, with ridership declining by approximately half in 2020 to 24,788,979 passengers.
According to the city, Winnipeggers are returning to the bus, although average weekday daily board levels are still at 55 to 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
“The greatest difficulty for transportation right now is this gap produced by a drop in ridership,” Allard added.
Winnipeg Transit service was decreased by 6% in 2021 and again this year to mitigate the costs of the loss in patronage.
Functional Transit Winnipeg, an advocacy group, wants that service restored right away, with president Kyle Owens saying that having more buses running is the best way to get folks back on the bus.
“Every transit trip is longer because those buses aren’t on the road,” Owens explained. “There are cascading delays every time someone uses transit because those buses aren’t on the road.”
Abdi Nooh, a Winnipeg Transit rider, is no stranger standing in line for a bus.
While the buses themselves are in good condition, he claims that delays, especially on Sundays, are a serious issue.
“I’m waiting 45 minutes to an hour,” said Nooh, who regularly waits for a bus to get to work on Sunday.
“Now and then, the time will say 10 minutes; it will change.” Another ten more. It’s a major issue, and I have no idea what happened.”
Source: CTV News
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