Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rubber to Rail in Winnipeg

Back in April, a City of Winnipeg committee recommended that the city study using light rail instead of buses for their rapid transit network. This was interesting because the city is currently building a busway. Last month, the committee endorsed light rail over buses (BRT) and yesterday Winnipeg council voted to build light rail as the preferred option for rapid transit in the city. According to the CBC:
A light-rail system also has the potential to stimulate development of infill neighbourhoods along its corridor, Katz said at the time.

Katz has also said there are environmental benefits to encouraging more use of public transit, and light rail is the incentive needed to get diehard drivers out of their vehicles. A report was commissioned in April to study the two options and recently came back recommending light rail.

Katz has said Phase 1 would remain a bus rapid transit route and not be turfed in favour of light rail. However, light rail will be pursued for Phase 2 and all other expansions of the rapid transit system. The Manitoba government has already committed money for a bus-based Phase 2.
This is a big win for light rail in the home town of bus builder New Flyer Industries and is a testament of light rail's able to shape neighbourhoods and travel patterns. Shout out to Brandon Yan for sending me this story.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Check me out a too. :)