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  #241  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2007, 2:22 AM
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The pembina corridor would be one of the best i would think, going straight from u of m to downtown


and with the Equalization Program we should have no problem building the damn thing
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  #242  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2007, 2:59 AM
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The pembina corridor would be one of the best i would think, going straight from u of m to downtown


and with the Equalization Program we should have no problem building the damn thing
Not to mention the recent commitment by the Feds to support environemntal infrastructure projects to the tune of 1.2 billion (I think it was about that).

If Winnipeg could land 125m from the feds .. and the province matched.. while the city provided the land; we could see some movement on this front.
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  #243  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2007, 3:03 AM
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Originally Posted by newflyer View Post
Not to mention the recent commitment by the Feds to support environemntal infrastructure projects to the tune of 1.2 billion (I think it was about that).

If Winnipeg could land 125m from the feds .. and the province matched.. while the city provided the land; we could see some movement on this front.

build a line from transcona threw downtown to the u of m...........
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  #244  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 2:24 AM
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which corridors have highest bus use??


I'd expect the obvious like pembina, regent, portage, ect...
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  #245  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2007, 12:57 AM
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which corridors have highest bus use??


I'd expect the obvious like pembina, regent, portage, ect...
I'd say Portage from Polo Park to P&M is the busiest bus corridore.
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  #246  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2007, 8:38 PM
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Originally Posted by newflyer View Post
Not to mention the recent commitment by the Feds to support environemntal infrastructure projects to the tune of 1.2 billion (I think it was about that).

If Winnipeg could land 125m from the feds .. and the province matched.. while the city provided the land; we could see some movement on this front.

well lets get together and build this damn thing then

it could be a 'ssp winnipeg' group project
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  #247  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 1:59 PM
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When the price of gas hits $1.50/L next summer and people are stacked like cord wood at each bus stop, people are finally going to wake up and realize that Murray had it right! It's too bad our current mayor is too busy with his personal affairs to take take an interest in things like rapid transit!
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  #248  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2007, 1:09 AM
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he could care less about radpid transit he made that point well known when he scraped the rapid transit coridor
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  #249  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 12:06 AM
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The Manitoban
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 edition:

http://www.themanitoban.com/2007-2008/1030/127.Local.group.advocates.subway.for.Winnipeg.php



Local group advocates subway for Winnipeg
Daniel Hildebrand


Since 2004, a group of local urban enthusiasts known as the Transit Riders’ Union of Winnipeg (TRU Winnipeg) have been pondering a tantalizing hypothetical question: what would Winnipeg look like today had it followed through with its 1959 subway plan? Perhaps, some believe, a little like Montreal, Chicago, or other cities that have prioritized human-centred transportation systems. Although TRU Winnipeg’s advocacy for underground rapid transit underlies much of their commentary, they leave few urban issues untouched. The Manitoban recently caught up with Robert Galston, one of TRU Winnipeg’s frequent contributors, to discuss rapid transit, Socrates, and the reasons he sees for staying optimistic for Winnipeg’s future.

Manitoban: What is the Transit Riders’ Union of Winnipeg?

Robert Galston: It was started in the summer of 2004 by Dallas Hansen and a guy named Jim Jaworski. Dallas Hansen was a regular writer at the Winnipeg Free Press who grew up in Winnipeg. In 2004, Dallas had just moved back and somehow he and Jim came across the Norman Wilson subway plan from 1959 and that sparked an interest in rapid transit. We were also quite inspired by travelling and living in cities around North America and experiencing other great neighbourhoods. But we started with the goal of promoting rapid transit, in particular the Norman Wilson subway, and new urbanist design.

M: Are there any elected city officials who have been at all receptive to TRU Winnipeg’s aims, particularly the subway?

RG: The issue of cost is always the first thing that makes most people a little reluctant. I think there are some people who are with us but the whole issue of cost makes the subway seem a little outlandish at first. And it’s true — I mean, it would be quite a cost.

M: What if there was some consensus on the issue? That is, if Winnipeg really wanted to move forward with this it could probably get significant federal and provincial funding.

RG: Yes, like anything else the city does, it doesn’t have to have the money tucked under a mattress. You can always borrow, and the federal government assists with this type of thing. If this is something that Winnipeg wanted bad[ly] enough, we could work towards funding, at least the first part of it. You have to start somewhere.

M: Your website has been fairly critical of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). You seem to portray it as more of a cop-out, a step in the wrong direction, etc. Could you comment on that at all?

RG: We, as a group, see it as a waste of money as far as revitalizing the central neighbourhoods which is where people ride transit. I’m thinking of the big routes along major central streets: Osborne, Portage, Main, etc. BRT wouldn’t service these areas very effectively; by its design BRT is more effective in the suburbs. If Winnipeg is to spend money on rapid transit of any kind it should be targeted towards the bulk of current riders and, therefore, the economic health of the central areas of Winnipeg. That’s the major issue for Winnipeg, our troubled downtown.

M: Do you see Light Rail Transit (LRT) as an acceptable compromise, in that it might be more politically feasible?

RG: It’s another thing that’s seen as cost prohibitive but less so than a subway. It’s good, but I wonder where it could go because the city is so built up.

M: I guess some have proposed using the city’s two bisecting rail lines?


RG: Yes, there are rights of way, but they’re not really where the people are. They don’t follow existing travel patterns or serve shopping and major destinations. For example, the line that runs through Point Douglas and also divides the North End — it’s a huge right-of-way corridor that cuts across the city, but no one travels in that direction. The population bases in the central parts of the city have their backs turned to those corridors. We would like to see a rapid transit system that benefits River and Osborne instead of a rail line running to the east of Donald. How would light rail benefit Portage and Arlington or Sargent and Balmoral?

M: It couldn’t without significant elevated sections.

RG: And for the cost of elevated rail, you may as well go subway.

M: I recently read Sam Katz’s Rapid Transit Task Force report and the recommendations seemed fairly underwhelming (a few more diamond lanes and some heated shelters). Do you see any cause for optimism?

RG: I don’t really have any optimism for current transit improvement plans. Diamond lanes are taking away places for cars to park. Obviously, bringing cars downtown isn’t the most important thing, but having a place to park on the street in front of a business is nice. You might not get the spot right in front of the business but at least you can try, and this is part of an enjoyable pedestrian environment. So diamond lanes are problematic. Also, I noticed that heated bus shacks were a big part of these recommendations, but what’s happening right now across downtown is that the bus shelters are all being gutted, having their benches and heaters removed, and turning into these bare glass shacks. So what’s happening is a lot different from what the recommendations stipulate. So I don’t think these recommendations are even being taken very seriously. I’m not very optimistic about Winnipeg Transit in the near future. As for the city overall, I get excited when I see new immigrants opening up stores on Sargent Avenue or Notre Dame Avenue. Just the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants is encouraging to see. I mean, they’ve taken rather derelict strips of the city that were once vital and they’re making them vital again by opening up grocery stores and restaurants.

M: Who deserves more responsibility for our failure to invest in public transit infrastructure, right wing nay-sayers like Tom Brodbeck or the mediocre ambitions of Manitoba’s left-wing politicians?


RG: I think they both deserve some. It’s easy to criticize Sam Katz and his so-called conservative council members, and I’ll leave that for someone else to do. But I’d like to point out the provincial NDP’s responsibility in the direction the city has taken. They were the ones who put Waverley West together and actually kind of forced it on the city. So they’ve really set the pattern and encouraged the city to continue suburban growth. That is really unfortunate and it’s come at the central city’s expense, and not just downtown, but central neighbourhoods which are more and more “ghettoized” as a result.

M: Yet central neighbourhoods continually vote NDP.


RG: They do continually vote NDP. But it’s because the party says things like . . . well, as an example, I was someone who signed a petition against Waverley West and I got a letter back from the minister of Family Services and Housing and it said: “Thanks for your concern, but did you know that we’re going to invest $15 million back into the inner city?” And this is TRU Winnipeg’s perspective and my own: if you plan this city better and control urban growth then property values in the inner city would rise by $15 million easily.

M: On TRU Winnipeg’s website there is a particularly devastating demonstration of Winnipeg’s declining urban character through a series of slides depicting Portage Avenue between 1919 and 2005. In 1919 we see a vibrant strip with all kinds of businesses and an abundance of pedestrian traffic; by 2005 the businesses and the pedestrians are gone and all we see are “for lease” signs. What happened? What can we concretely point to in accounting for the change?

RG: The economic health of Winnipeg as a whole began to decline shortly after [the First World War]. The decline of downtown — the decline of it being an attractive place for people to shop and walk around — began more after [the Second World War], and that was because planning energies were spent on accommodating cars, zoning against urban design and density, and a separation of uses. There are examples of planning documents where the planners look at pictures of a vibrant strip of Portage or a residential street in the West End with a grocery store on the corner, and they’ll be saying how this is negative and should be eradicated. So a lot of the planning decisions greatly assisted the decline of Portage Avenue. Another thing was removing the street cars, which weren’t perfect but they put transit on the same priority as cars on the roadway. That did a lot to turn Portage Avenue into a desolate strip of highway.

M: What would you say about the “mega-project phenomenon”? I’m thinking about the MTS Centre as the most recent example. The public was sold the idea that putting public money into an arena would help downtown revitalize. Is this an effective way to revive the downtown?

RG: The track record of downtown mega projects, or projects built with the purpose of renewing an area, isn’t very good. We’ve had almost 40 years of megaprojects — the concert hall in the ’60s, new Winnipeg Square and the Convention Centre in the ’70s, Portage Place in the ’80s, and now the MTS Centre, all with very minimal positive results. They’re occasionally successful in their own right, but as far as uplifting their surroundings the success is very limited and often detrimental.

M: Would you point to a single use encompassing an entire block as the problem?


RG: They seem to be very “megalithic” and they’re built that way very intentionally. It’s almost like they’re trying to say, “Look how much your government cares about downtown.” It’s all very quantitative and as though they only need to say, “We’ve added three million square feet of retail space to Portage Avenue,” or, “We’ve added two thousand more employees to the downtown,” and it just seems to be conceptualized in that way. Waterfront Drive in contrast is an example of a street project where the city parcelled out land to different owners to start up independent projects. That encourages different things, a variety of owners and a variety of uses.

M: So you’d like to see more of Waterfront Drive type projects rather than the mega project approach to renewal?


RG: Yeah, I think Waterfront Drive was a step in the right direction and probably has been one of the better planning decisions the city has made for some time.

M: Just to end on a philosophical note, Socrates sought to find the essence of the human soul in the image of the city. Hegel concluded that the spirit of the age was actualized in social relations and the forms that accommodated them. Does Winnipeg’s inability to protect the integrity of urban space reflect a misinterpretation of our social nature as a community?


RG: We’ve lost our contact with other people. I think people are better when they have to deal with people, rub shoulders with other people — even people who aren’t much like them, people who they might not particularly like. That does make us better, more balanced people who understand the world.

M: And the city works best when it expresses that part of us?

RG: The city constantly puts you in conflict. I’d still get worked up and complain even if I lived in Manhattan, one of the greatest urban spaces in the world. It’s just that you’re constantly rubbing up against different forces and it prompts you to resolve things a little better and understand where people are coming from. That’s certainly lost in the compliant and controlled spaces that we’ve come to put ourselves in.

You can visit TRU Winnipeg on the Internet at www. truwinnipeg.org. The site includes Wilson’s maps of the Winnipeg subway and link to the text of the 1959 report. Robert Galston also writes a blog at www.riseandsprawl.blogspot.com.
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  #250  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 7:01 AM
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The Manitoban
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 edition:

http://www.themanitoban.com/2007-2008/1030/127.Local.group.advocates.subway.for.Winnipeg.php



Local group advocates subway for Winnipeg
Daniel Hildebrand


Since 2004, a group of local urban enthusiasts known as the Transit Riders’ Union of Winnipeg (TRU Winnipeg) have been pondering a tantalizing hypothetical question: what would Winnipeg look like today had it followed through with its 1959 subway plan? Perhaps, some believe, a little like Montreal, Chicago, or other cities that have prioritized human-centred transportation systems. Although TRU Winnipeg’s advocacy for underground rapid transit underlies much of their commentary, they leave few urban issues untouched. The Manitoban recently caught up with Robert Galston, one of TRU Winnipeg’s frequent contributors, to discuss rapid transit, Socrates, and the reasons he sees for staying optimistic for Winnipeg’s future.

Manitoban: What is the Transit Riders’ Union of Winnipeg?

Robert Galston: It was started in the summer of 2004 by Dallas Hansen and a guy named Jim Jaworski. Dallas Hansen was a regular writer at the Winnipeg Free Press who grew up in Winnipeg. In 2004, Dallas had just moved back and somehow he and Jim came across the Norman Wilson subway plan from 1959 and that sparked an interest in rapid transit. We were also quite inspired by travelling and living in cities around North America and experiencing other great neighbourhoods. But we started with the goal of promoting rapid transit, in particular the Norman Wilson subway, and new urbanist design.

M: Are there any elected city officials who have been at all receptive to TRU Winnipeg’s aims, particularly the subway?

RG: The issue of cost is always the first thing that makes most people a little reluctant. I think there are some people who are with us but the whole issue of cost makes the subway seem a little outlandish at first. And it’s true — I mean, it would be quite a cost.

M: What if there was some consensus on the issue? That is, if Winnipeg really wanted to move forward with this it could probably get significant federal and provincial funding.

RG: Yes, like anything else the city does, it doesn’t have to have the money tucked under a mattress. You can always borrow, and the federal government assists with this type of thing. If this is something that Winnipeg wanted bad[ly] enough, we could work towards funding, at least the first part of it. You have to start somewhere.

M: Your website has been fairly critical of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). You seem to portray it as more of a cop-out, a step in the wrong direction, etc. Could you comment on that at all?

RG: We, as a group, see it as a waste of money as far as revitalizing the central neighbourhoods which is where people ride transit. I’m thinking of the big routes along major central streets: Osborne, Portage, Main, etc. BRT wouldn’t service these areas very effectively; by its design BRT is more effective in the suburbs. If Winnipeg is to spend money on rapid transit of any kind it should be targeted towards the bulk of current riders and, therefore, the economic health of the central areas of Winnipeg. That’s the major issue for Winnipeg, our troubled downtown.

M: Do you see Light Rail Transit (LRT) as an acceptable compromise, in that it might be more politically feasible?

RG: It’s another thing that’s seen as cost prohibitive but less so than a subway. It’s good, but I wonder where it could go because the city is so built up.

M: I guess some have proposed using the city’s two bisecting rail lines?


RG: Yes, there are rights of way, but they’re not really where the people are. They don’t follow existing travel patterns or serve shopping and major destinations. For example, the line that runs through Point Douglas and also divides the North End — it’s a huge right-of-way corridor that cuts across the city, but no one travels in that direction. The population bases in the central parts of the city have their backs turned to those corridors. We would like to see a rapid transit system that benefits River and Osborne instead of a rail line running to the east of Donald. How would light rail benefit Portage and Arlington or Sargent and Balmoral?

M: It couldn’t without significant elevated sections.

RG: And for the cost of elevated rail, you may as well go subway.

M: I recently read Sam Katz’s Rapid Transit Task Force report and the recommendations seemed fairly underwhelming (a few more diamond lanes and some heated shelters). Do you see any cause for optimism?

RG: I don’t really have any optimism for current transit improvement plans. Diamond lanes are taking away places for cars to park. Obviously, bringing cars downtown isn’t the most important thing, but having a place to park on the street in front of a business is nice. You might not get the spot right in front of the business but at least you can try, and this is part of an enjoyable pedestrian environment. So diamond lanes are problematic. Also, I noticed that heated bus shacks were a big part of these recommendations, but what’s happening right now across downtown is that the bus shelters are all being gutted, having their benches and heaters removed, and turning into these bare glass shacks. So what’s happening is a lot different from what the recommendations stipulate. So I don’t think these recommendations are even being taken very seriously. I’m not very optimistic about Winnipeg Transit in the near future. As for the city overall, I get excited when I see new immigrants opening up stores on Sargent Avenue or Notre Dame Avenue. Just the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants is encouraging to see. I mean, they’ve taken rather derelict strips of the city that were once vital and they’re making them vital again by opening up grocery stores and restaurants.

M: Who deserves more responsibility for our failure to invest in public transit infrastructure, right wing nay-sayers like Tom Brodbeck or the mediocre ambitions of Manitoba’s left-wing politicians?


RG: I think they both deserve some. It’s easy to criticize Sam Katz and his so-called conservative council members, and I’ll leave that for someone else to do. But I’d like to point out the provincial NDP’s responsibility in the direction the city has taken. They were the ones who put Waverley West together and actually kind of forced it on the city. So they’ve really set the pattern and encouraged the city to continue suburban growth. That is really unfortunate and it’s come at the central city’s expense, and not just downtown, but central neighbourhoods which are more and more “ghettoized” as a result.

M: Yet central neighbourhoods continually vote NDP.


RG: They do continually vote NDP. But it’s because the party says things like . . . well, as an example, I was someone who signed a petition against Waverley West and I got a letter back from the minister of Family Services and Housing and it said: “Thanks for your concern, but did you know that we’re going to invest $15 million back into the inner city?” And this is TRU Winnipeg’s perspective and my own: if you plan this city better and control urban growth then property values in the inner city would rise by $15 million easily.

M: On TRU Winnipeg’s website there is a particularly devastating demonstration of Winnipeg’s declining urban character through a series of slides depicting Portage Avenue between 1919 and 2005. In 1919 we see a vibrant strip with all kinds of businesses and an abundance of pedestrian traffic; by 2005 the businesses and the pedestrians are gone and all we see are “for lease” signs. What happened? What can we concretely point to in accounting for the change?

RG: The economic health of Winnipeg as a whole began to decline shortly after [the First World War]. The decline of downtown — the decline of it being an attractive place for people to shop and walk around — began more after [the Second World War], and that was because planning energies were spent on accommodating cars, zoning against urban design and density, and a separation of uses. There are examples of planning documents where the planners look at pictures of a vibrant strip of Portage or a residential street in the West End with a grocery store on the corner, and they’ll be saying how this is negative and should be eradicated. So a lot of the planning decisions greatly assisted the decline of Portage Avenue. Another thing was removing the street cars, which weren’t perfect but they put transit on the same priority as cars on the roadway. That did a lot to turn Portage Avenue into a desolate strip of highway.

M: What would you say about the “mega-project phenomenon”? I’m thinking about the MTS Centre as the most recent example. The public was sold the idea that putting public money into an arena would help downtown revitalize. Is this an effective way to revive the downtown?

RG: The track record of downtown mega projects, or projects built with the purpose of renewing an area, isn’t very good. We’ve had almost 40 years of megaprojects — the concert hall in the ’60s, new Winnipeg Square and the Convention Centre in the ’70s, Portage Place in the ’80s, and now the MTS Centre, all with very minimal positive results. They’re occasionally successful in their own right, but as far as uplifting their surroundings the success is very limited and often detrimental.

M: Would you point to a single use encompassing an entire block as the problem?


RG: They seem to be very “megalithic” and they’re built that way very intentionally. It’s almost like they’re trying to say, “Look how much your government cares about downtown.” It’s all very quantitative and as though they only need to say, “We’ve added three million square feet of retail space to Portage Avenue,” or, “We’ve added two thousand more employees to the downtown,” and it just seems to be conceptualized in that way. Waterfront Drive in contrast is an example of a street project where the city parcelled out land to different owners to start up independent projects. That encourages different things, a variety of owners and a variety of uses.

M: So you’d like to see more of Waterfront Drive type projects rather than the mega project approach to renewal?


RG: Yeah, I think Waterfront Drive was a step in the right direction and probably has been one of the better planning decisions the city has made for some time.

M: Just to end on a philosophical note, Socrates sought to find the essence of the human soul in the image of the city. Hegel concluded that the spirit of the age was actualized in social relations and the forms that accommodated them. Does Winnipeg’s inability to protect the integrity of urban space reflect a misinterpretation of our social nature as a community?


RG: We’ve lost our contact with other people. I think people are better when they have to deal with people, rub shoulders with other people — even people who aren’t much like them, people who they might not particularly like. That does make us better, more balanced people who understand the world.

M: And the city works best when it expresses that part of us?

RG: The city constantly puts you in conflict. I’d still get worked up and complain even if I lived in Manhattan, one of the greatest urban spaces in the world. It’s just that you’re constantly rubbing up against different forces and it prompts you to resolve things a little better and understand where people are coming from. That’s certainly lost in the compliant and controlled spaces that we’ve come to put ourselves in.

You can visit TRU Winnipeg on the Internet at www. truwinnipeg.org. The site includes Wilson’s maps of the Winnipeg subway and link to the text of the 1959 report. Robert Galston also writes a blog at www.riseandsprawl.blogspot.com.
congratulation, great interview

I too think that the root of the problem cannot be solved with megaprojects... the asectic Winnipeg of today, with it's mindless zoning, no parking in the street, horrible sidewalks and walking environment, it was planned way ahead. Even Portage and Main look like freeways right now, and I doubt they were like that a century ago.

On a side note: did anyone notice the new "improvements" of Winnipeg Transit? They are just replacing the shelters with shelters of half the size, replacing the stop signs with new, uglier ones, and just built a lane from Pembina to Bishop Grandin out of nowhere for bus use only. I think it's ridiculous.
The new articulate buses are nowhere to be seen...
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  #251  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 9:19 AM
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congratulation, great interview T

The new articulate buses are nowhere to be seen...
You'll have to travel to Chicago (Route 143 Michigan Ave. Express) or Toronto to ride 'em.
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  #252  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 9:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jimj_wpg View Post
You'll have to travel to Chicago (Route 143 Michigan Ave. Express) or Toronto to ride 'em.
Calgary has them too... on BRT lines.
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  #253  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 7:17 PM
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Originally Posted by newflyer View Post
Calgary has them too... on BRT lines.
so, does Calgary have BRT and LRT as well? Oh my gosh, Winnipeg is truly in harsh shape, and its people are blind!

Even the official brochure on Winnipeg of the UoM states that the transit in Winnipeg is "very good". What kind of mindless drones head the UoM?

EDIT: I hope that the oil price will skyrocket badly in the next years and people will have hard time affording a car... then they'll start to realize how good Winnipeg Transit is and probably will ask for a change.
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  #254  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 7:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jimj_wpg View Post
You'll have to travel to Chicago (Route 143 Michigan Ave. Express) or Toronto to ride 'em.
I rode them most of the days back home, they are neat! I loved to just stand up in the conjunction section and got excited at every bend
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2007, 11:20 PM
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Articulated buses don't do well in winter climates..



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  #256  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 12:47 AM
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LilZebra LilZebra is offline
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Thanks for that pic, vid. Sweet.

Yup, those BRT folk can be quite noisy, flapping their arms up and down, saying that BRT is great...

But those artics. aren't meant for our arctic like Winters.
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  #257  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 10:51 AM
cslusarc cslusarc is offline
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Would double decker busses like the ones in the UK be better than articulated busses?

Could you see Winnipeg Transit operating double decker busses in Winnipeg?

[BTW, keep your eyes open as Winnipeg Transit should release its Winter schedule update soon its usually implemented on the Monday nearest Rememberance Day.]
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  #258  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 4:05 PM
urbanprince urbanprince is offline
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Winnipeg transit has been so beaten down by city hall so badly that they have no one left with vision, creativity or smarts to evolve transit into something great that can be appreciated by all of Winnipeggers. Same goes for the planning department and public works. They are all technocrats. They know how to push paper, read 1960 policy manuals and build cities only civil engineers coming out of U of M would appreciate.

If Winnipeg wants a city that is up there like Montreal or Vancouver, it will take decades of consistent leadership and massive turnovers of city staff.
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  #259  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 5:45 PM
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feepa feepa is offline
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I've never seen an Articulated bus in Edmonton have problems during the winter... though looking at the picture posted (from Ottawa) would show that maybe they do in fact have problems?
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  #260  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:43 PM
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The Jabroni The Jabroni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
Articulated buses don't do well in winter climates..



Oh dear!

The weather must have caught the transit operators off guard!
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