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  #921  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 3:39 AM
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those things are a accedent waiting to happen with little kids......
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  #922  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 3:53 AM
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Buses now carry half as many people (except the Orion VII), come less often (my street used to have a bus every 10 minutes; now it's every 30.), and are magnets for gigantic strollers. Bus drivers haven't had a shred of courtesy since the 1980s and the routes were drawn by 10 year olds. Oh, and it costs $2.50 to ride the damn thing.

Any they wonder why no one takes transit! The Iraq War had more intelligence!!
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  #923  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 9:38 PM
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Quote:
30-year dream of rapid transit in Winnipeg may soon come true
Canadian Press

It has been talked about for decades — studied, shelved and restudied by an ever-changing lineup of politicians and bureaucrats. But now the planets may finally be aligning for Winnipeg to join Canada's other big cities in developing a rapid-transit system.

New federal funding, renewed interest from the mayor's office and demands from a vocal group of transit supporters could set the stage for the first small step — a 3.4-kilometre bus-only road from downtown to Jubilee Avenue in the city's south end.

"Our view is that there have been plenty of studies done," says a frustrated Paul Hesse, head of the Winnipeg Rapid Transit Coalition. "The City of Winnipeg has approved a plan for rapid transit, and the levels of government should just fund that plan."

The group submitted a 1,500-name petition to city council earlier this year demanding that the project finally move forward.

But even the short bus-only road, with an estimated price-tag of $70 million, is proving to be contentious in a city with other pressing infrastructure needs and where car culture is king.

Some residents feel the true cost could end up much higher and think the money might be better spent on fixing winter-battered streets.

Ottawa system eyed

Lacking the type of oil money that helped pay for light-rail services in Edmonton and Calgary, Winnipeg is eyeing a system similar to the Transitway bus service in Ottawa, where buses speed along dedicated roads in the outskirts and special bus-only lanes downtown.

Barry Prentice, a professor at the University of Manitoba's Transport Institute, remembers talk of a similar roadway in Winnipeg's south end in the 1970s. The idea was never implemented, partly because of cost concerns.

"The short answer of course is money, but the longer answer has to do with simply a political commitment and a decision to do this," Prentice said.

Former mayor Glen Murray revived the idea of a lengthy rapid transit system in 2001 but did nothing about it before quitting three years later. His successor, Sam Katz, deemed Murray's plan too expensive and ordered another study.

After public consultations, which showed Winnipeggers divided over whether to spend money fixing potholes or building bus roads, Katz accepted a task force report that suggested the less ambitious 3.4-kilometre bus road as a starting point, along with improvements such as heated bus shelters to help riders bear the city's –40 C winters.

"The whole idea is to make improvements that will make it more desirable to take transit," Katz said.

No dramatic change under Katz plan: Prentice

His idea got a boost this spring when the federal government announced $17.9 million in funding for Winnipeg — a pot of money that could conceivably be used for a variety of bike paths or rapid-transit projects.

Critics say a slightly improved bus service with warmer shelters won't be enough to make people give up their cars for the daily commute — especially in a city that motorists can drive across in 25 minutes.

Winnipeg drivers sometimes face traffic "jams" that add five or 10 minutes to their commute — a far cry from the gridlock seen in bigger cities such as Calgary or Toronto, where public transit is usually faster than a trip by car.

"[Katz's plan] is tinkering at the edges. It'll improve things, but it's not going to make the kind of dramatic change you get from a real rapid-transit system," said Prentice.

Prentice, Hesse and other transit proponents dream of a sprawling network of bus-only roads and large enclosed buildings at major bus stations, similar to those found in Ottawa, where commuters could sit in comfort.

"Rapid transit has real stations. A good system would also realize the development potential around rapid- transit stations, where you could build condos and apartments," said Hesse.

Province mum on rapid-transit funding

They don't lay all the blame for the lack of progress at city hall's feet. Prentice points out that Ottawa's Transitway was funded 75 per cent by the Ontario government, even as costs skyrocketed during construction.

Calgary and Edmonton also received a lot of provincial help for their systems.

The Manitoba government has committed to pay half of everyday transit operating costs, but is not ready to say how much it would pay for construction of a rapid-transit system.

"We do have existing infrastructure commitments … roads and bridges," Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton said last month.

"But [rapid transit] is certainly on the agenda. We're in discussions with the city right now."
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  #924  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2008, 6:54 PM
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I rode on one of the new air conditioned busses for the first time last week. It was a good experience, other than the lady sitting in front of me with B.O. The A/C seemed to work well, so hopefully these busses will continue to roll out on schedule.

I've seen a couple of busses with the new "stop requested" signs, and a couple with security cameras, but these features seem to be coming very slowly.
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  #925  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 1:12 AM
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Was there opposition to the security cameras on buses, and if so what was it like? Our drivers are vehemently opposed to them, unfortunately. They do fuck all in deterring crime but are a good tool to catch criminals.
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  #926  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 2:26 AM
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Was there opposition to the security cameras on buses, and if so what was it like?
I know a few drivers that don't like the idea, but I believe the majority want them sooner than later as a crime detergent, or at least as a way to identify perpetrators. None of the 5 cameras focus on the driver so driver privacy shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure that there are any working cameras on the buses at the moment. Last word was they were waiting for the award of the contract after trialling several different systems.
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  #927  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 3:32 AM
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Lucky. Our union is really regressive when it comes to things like cameras and bike racks and vehicle locaters.
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  #928  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 7:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swolfe View Post
I rode on one of the new air conditioned busses for the first time last week. It was a good experience, other than the lady sitting in front of me with B.O. The A/C seemed to work well, so hopefully these busses will continue to roll out on schedule.

I've seen a couple of busses with the new "stop requested" signs, and a couple with security cameras, but these features seem to be coming very slowly.
If I remember correctly, bus number 571 had a different Stop Requested sign that was showing a clock when no one requested a stop, and several security cameras around the bus.

I haven't been on the new buses yet, so I don't know what they have for their minor yet vital bells and whistles it has.
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  #929  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 2:27 PM
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Lucky. Our union is really regressive when it comes to things like cameras and bike racks and vehicle locaters.
speaking of bike racks on some of our buses nobody in our city uses them. Why? Maybe it has to do with taking too much time to lock them in. Other than that I don't really have an answer
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  #930  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Smron View Post
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Ugh. Please please please, no BRT. We know that most of this "dedicated roadway" won't get built and these buses will share the same roads as regular traffic.

Either do it right or don't do it at all.
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  #931  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by viperred88 View Post
speaking of bike racks on some of our buses nobody in our city uses them. Why? Maybe it has to do with taking too much time to lock them in. Other than that I don't really have an answer
Well, let's see. Only on a handful of buses, only guaranteed on the 60 Pembina, and even then the buses don't always have them. It's been a pilot program for, what, 7 years now? They either need to drop it altogether, or widely expand the number of bike racks. Just think, someone lives in East ST. Paul, can bike to Glenway Loop, throw their bike on the bus, ride to work downtown and then if they feel like it ride all the way home after work. Right now there are a handful of people that ride to Glenway loop and lock their bikes to poles around there, trusting that no one will steal their bikes while they are at work. If people know the rack will be there, they will use it.

Most bus drivers don't like the racks. In use they stick out quite far in front of the bus. The initial pilot program and a second brand of rack which didn't stick out so far when only one bike was on the rack. Irregardless, if a cyclist has used the rack once, then the next time it should only take a few seconds to secure it. I only know of one case where a bike has fallen out of a rack, and that was a case of being improperly secured. Liability is on the cyclist when that happens. Then there's always the risk of theft.....
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  #932  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 5:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kinguni View Post
Well, let's see. Only on a handful of buses, only guaranteed on the 60 Pembina, and even then the buses don't always have them. It's been a pilot program for, what, 7 years now?
The racks were put in place at the same time as the Cycling Map of Winnipeg was published and a few short weeks before the Pan Am Games opened -- May / June 1999. That makes it 9 years.
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  #933  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2008, 6:21 PM
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Thunder Bay is getting racks that are adjustable so that they only stick out as far as needed. We're putting them on all buses in one go. (There are only 49 buses so it will be easy.) They're just taking forever getting them on.

Bus drivers have to stop sneaking up on cars anyway. You should always leave about 3 to 4 feet between the next vehicle and yours, especially when you're driving something large, like a bus!
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  #934  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 4:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Greco Roman View Post
Ugh. Please please please, no BRT. We know that most of this "dedicated roadway" won't get built and these buses will share the same roads as regular traffic.

Either do it right or don't do it at all.
Agreed.
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  #935  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 5:27 AM
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Bus drivers have to stop sneaking up on cars anyway. You should always leave about 3 to 4 feet between the next vehicle and yours, especially when you're driving something large, like a bus!
Eh, actually they should be leaving more space than that. They should be leaving enough space that they can get around the vehicle in front of them, even though it might be stopped where it's not supposed to be. Works good in theory anyways.

Rules state leaving 10 feet, even behind another bus in a stop, but even in training one is taught at certain stops to pull as close to the preceding bus as possible in order to allow as many buses into the stop as possible.
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  #936  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 5:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jimj_wpg View Post
The racks were put in place at the same time as the Cycling Map of Winnipeg was published and a few short weeks before the Pan Am Games opened -- May / June 1999. That makes it 9 years.
Thought it was that long, but I couldn't remember. Pretty long trial run, eh?
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  #937  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 5:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Greco Roman View Post
Ugh. Please please please, no BRT. We know that most of this "dedicated roadway" won't get built and these buses will share the same roads as regular traffic.

Either do it right or don't do it at all.


OK good I thought I was the only one who didn't like the BRT.
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  #938  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 8:48 AM
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musta had 20 bus's waiting to pic people up tonight from the fork on main st tonight after the fireworks
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  #939  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 4:28 PM
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There were quite a few as well.

For example, the 18 heading for Templeton was packed last night as I drove by it.
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  #940  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2008, 7:13 PM
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they also had bus's runing back and forth from the forks to asinboin park all day
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