Winnipeg Transit Master PlanBy Artem Dolia
Our world is changing at an accelerating pace. As populations increase around the world, people are looking for more housing options, job opportunities and access to services, causing urban areas to overgrow. More than 50% of Canadians live in a medium to large-sized city, with 55% of Manitobans living in the City of Winnipeg. Winnipeg stands to gain by rising to the challenges and seizing the opportunities of this new world. The transportation system will be central to bringing Winnipeg into the future; it plays a role in everything from neighbourhood safety and family orientation to the efficient delivery of goods and services and commercial viability. A practical, sustainable transportation strategy will help guide decisions through changing times and will ensure that Winnipeg is poised to capitalize on opportunities.
The strategic direction set through Sustainable Transportation will be the framework for developing Winnipeg’s Transportation Master Plan. The overarching objective of this Master Plan is to guide the planning, development and maintenance of a multimodal transportation system that will contribute to the sustainable development of the City and region.
Transit Master Plan’s primary purpose is to dynamically analyze the needs of the new urban structure as it changes through time. The practices contained in this new dynamic approach will result in the ability to integrate land use and transportation in a more holistic manner. It will enable Winnipeg to move from the current static approach to one that will assess future transportation needs systematically and proactively.
Here are the engagement phases of Winnipeg Transit Master Plan:
Phase One: Understand current use & future vision
The project team will talk with Winnipeggers about how they currently use transit, what is important to them, and what they would like to see in the future. This information will be reported in a white paper that identifies key areas for further study during the development of the Transit Master Plan.
Phase Two: Proposed network design
In this phase, Winnipeg Transit will share a proposed network design to make transit more efficient, frequent and reliable. They will share information about how the proposed network will help people get around the City and the proposed routes that are part of the system. They will ask Winnipeggers for their feedback on the proposed network design, including proposed routes.
Phase Three: Review draft plan
The project team will share a draft Transit Master Plan with Winnipeggers and ask for their feedback. Public input will be included with the final Transit Master Plan presented to the City.
Once the final Transit Master Plan is presented to Council for consideration in spring 2020, it will be shared with Winnipeggers. Winnipeg transit will also share how input was used to shape the plan.
As part of the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan, the City of Winnipeg held discussion sessions related to potential changes to the Winnipeg Transit Plus service. These sessions have involved presentations on the significant changes being considered, followed by a question and answer periods. Four sessions have been offered in total – two on Monday, January 13, and two on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
The purpose of the sessions was to evaluate how Transit Plus is doing and compare to best practices in North America, to assess eligibility criteria, trip prioritization and no show policies in contrast with industry best practices. The purpose was also to align with new proposed Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) legislation about transportation. To modernize the program by making it equitable and sustainable and to integrate accessible conventional fixed-route services into our service delivery strategy.
Here are expected changes at Transit Plus scheduled to complete within one year:
- Eliminate trip prioritization – Not compliant with legislation and not equitable
- Change the no-show policy
- Provide an allowable number of no-shows within a rolling time frame
- Adopt a 2-hour no-show window
- Provide education and information about no-show policy
- Develop a clear list of what is a no-show to clarify the appeal process
- Implement booking and trip delivery windows
- Provide a 20-minute time window
- Provide a 5-minute pick-up window
From October 25 to November 24, over 400 people attended Winnipeg Transit workshops, community conversations, and drop-in events and over 3,700 Winnipeggers shared their ideas online. All feedback is currently being considered, and Winnipeg Transit will share a summary report of what they heard and how it was considered when the plan is presented for Phase Three public engagement in early 2020. In Phase Three, they will be sharing the draft Winnipeg Transit Master Plan and asking people for their input.
The Transportation Master Plan will help to re-evaluate transportation planning needs, adjusting implementation as needed.
You can visit the Winnipeg Transit webpage, and under Major Projects, you can find more details about Transit Master Plan and changes in Winnipeg Transit Plus.