Province and City announce funding for rapid transit expansion
The Government of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg announced funding today to build the second phase of rapid transit in southwest Winnipeg and redevelop the Pembina-Jubilee Underpass to include additional vehicle and bike lanes, with each government providing up to $225 million toward the integrated project and seeking federal funding for the balance, Premier Greg Selinger and Mayor Sam Katz said.
The president of the University of Manitoba responded positively to the news.
“The extension of bus rapid transit service to our Fort Garry campus is critical to the future of our university community,” said David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor, University of Manitoba. “It will provide students, faculty and staff a fast, safe and environmentally sustainable means of getting to the university. It also makes our university more accessible to people who come to our campus for sporting events, concerts, gallery exhibits, public lectures and a variety of other activities that enhance the vibrancy of our city.”
The seven-kilometre second phase of rapid transit in the city will run from Pembina Highway and Jubilee Avenue to southwest Winnipeg. Public consultations, and design and engineering work on the project are underway with construction scheduled to be completed in 2019. The premier and the mayor noted that combining the Pembina-Jubilee Underpass work with the rapid transit work is expected to speed up construction on both projects by at least two years and reduce disruption for families and businesses while they are built.
“Each day more and more people are making the move to Manitoba. The City of Winnipeg is expected to reach a population of one million within the next 20 years and the hallmark of any thriving big city is a modern, efficient public transit system,” said Premier Selinger. “Building rapid transit will mean good jobs to get the work done and it will connect families with opportunities across this great city, well into the future.”
“Rapid Transit provides faster, more reliable transit service while helping to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions as well as congestion on regional streets,” said Mayor Katz. “Today’s announcement for Stage 2 of the Southwest Transitway helps complete the vision of a rapid transit corridor from the downtown to the southwest regions of Winnipeg, substantially increasing the competitiveness of transit for thousands of Winnipeggers. With this announcement, the City of Winnipeg will continue its focus on the development of a rapid transit network across Winnipeg with additional projects such as the Eastern Rapid Transit Corridor.”
The mayor noted the investment from the Manitoba government allows the City of Winnipeg to proceed with its application to the Government of Canada for the outstanding 25 per cent of project costs through the P3 Canada Fund. It will also allow the city to address storm-water and drainage issues in the underpass.
The premier noted in addition to supporting investments in a new rapid transit corridor, the Manitoba government will continue to fund 50 per cent of Winnipeg Transit’s operating costs.