Big bus fare hike pending

Winnipeg Transit fares will increase a nickel on Sunday, but whether they?ll go up another 20 cents on June 1 remains to be seen.

On Nov. 16 city council voted 8-6 in favour of a surprise proposal from Coun. Justin Swandel to add 20 more cents on top of a routine five-cent increase in bus fares and dedicate the difference to rapid transit expansion.

?The ridiculous conversations that go on between the city and province are not going to fund our infrastructure. We?ve got to get off our butts and fund this thing,? Swandel said at the time.

The five-cent increase is going ahead as planned Jan. 1, making the full cash fare $2.45 as of Sunday. However, both the city and province have said the extra 20 cents will only be added June 1 if no other funding mechanism can be found to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to expand Winnipeg?s fledgling rapid transit system.

So far it doesn?t appear as though there?s been a lot of movement in the six weeks since the vote.

?We have until June. If the province comes up with an alternative source, which everyone can agree on, then it won?t happen. Otherwise it probably will happen. We still have time to work on that one,? Mayor Sam Katz told the Winnipeg Sun just before Christmas.

Premier Greg Selinger?s preference is to fund the line with tax increment financing, a sort of back-door funding mechanism that sees the money roll in once the project is complete.

?We thought tax increment financing would be a way to look at financing it. As rapid transit expands, there are opportunities for urban development projects, and the revenues generated off that can pay for the infrastructure,? he said.

TIF, introduced by the provincial government just a few years ago, allows the government to divert a portion of the property taxes from certain properties when their assessed value increases. The province hopes rapid transit corridors will spur development nearby, which will increase the value of those properties. When the value increases, so too do the property taxes, and the province would divert the difference in its education portion back to the city.

Whether or not that can raise the $200 million or more needed to push rapid transit to the University of Manitoba remains to be seen.

Transit riders would be well advised to start saving their nickels just in case.

Courtesy of Winnipeg Sun

Dear Public Passenger

Dear public passenger, it has been a remarkable year and just want to say thank you for:
Making complaints about my service?
Not paying you fare or cheating the system over and over again (And getting away with it)
Insulting me over and over because couldn’t make your stop on time after you pulled the cord 5 feet away from your stop
Pushing me to go faster to make your connection even thought I am late 35 minutes?
Running in front of the bus almost hit you and even said thank you (I am freaking out at this point)
Splitting the bus tickets in that way your friends can ride for free
Going downtown? (I am at the MTS)
Back door, driver (The door is open)
Pointed at the transfer when you pay your fare, because you are so lazy to say transfer please. (Very rude passenger)
Didn’t even show me your transfer, just put it in the paper bag
Gave me the finger because I didn’t let you off in the second lane
But also want to say thank you for:
Answering my greetings
Winkling when you get off (my Philipina passengers specially)
Being very polite to request a stop
Bringing Philipino news thinking that I am Philiipino
Paying your exactly fare
Being sympathetic and understanding about the road conditions and traffic?
But, on top of that thank you for giving me the opportunity for being part of your daily lives.?
A bus operator

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To all my friends around the world, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year, God Bless you. Para todos mis amigos y familia alrededor del mundo Feliz Navidad y Prospero a?o nuevo que Dios los bendiga a todos. Maligayang Pasko! Masaganang Bagong Taon!Gese?nde Kersfees en ‘n gelukkige nuwe jaar, Joyeux No?l et bonne ann?e, Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo.

FREE SERVICE NEW YEAR?S EVE (Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada)

This year Manitoba Public Insurance will be
sponsoring free service on New Year?s Eve
from 21:00 until the end of service.
Special decals have been prepared to cover
the farebox. They will be placed in the
schedules for the buses that remain in service
beyond 21:00 on Dec. 31st.
At 21:00 an All Call will be issued and the
decals should be placed over the top and
front of the farebox as shown.
Inspectors will have extra decals on hand if
needed. Operators finishing service at the
garage that night are asked to remove the
decal when parking the bus away.
Thank you for your cooperation and have a
very Happy New Year!

It’s beginning to look a lot like a green Christmas

White Christmas? Keep dreaming, Canada.

Environment Canada is predicting a green holiday for the majority of Canadians this year.

“So many Canadians are going to experience a green or a brown Christmas,” senior meteorologist David Phillips said on Wednesday.

Winter has officially begun, but it sure doesn’t look like it across much of the country.

To experience that truly white Christmas, at least two centimetres of snow must be on the ground.

Most of western Canada will experience balmy patio weather rather than anything like a winter wonderland.

In Calgary, Sunday is expected to be a very non-Christmas 8 C and sunny. Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., have just an 11% chance of snow on Chistmas.

But there is hope for some eastern Canadians.

In Toronto and Ottawa, there’s a possibility of flurries on Sunday to cover a bit of the grass on the lawn.

“We could still make it have a Christmas-card look,” Phillips said.

For any place that does get snow, expect it to be patchy, he said.

Even Gander, N.L., the snowiest city in Canada, has just a trace of snow on the ground.

While it’s unusual for most of the country to be without the white stuff on Dec. 25, it’s even more rare for all of Canada to have a white Christmas from coast to coast.

It actually happened in 2008. “I was very excited. That was the only year in 56 years of monitoring that 33 million Canadians had a white Christmas,” Phillips said.

If you are set on waking up Christmas morning with the yard covered in the fluffy stuff year after year, consider moving to Winnipeg.

“Death, taxes and a white Christmas is what you get there,” Phillips said.

On the bright side, Phillips said, navigating the roads should be a breeze this holiday season.

“Travel should be easy with no major snowfall and it keeps the in-laws from staying overnight.”

Courtesy of ?Toronto Sun

Man, 84, in critical after Chief Peguis crash

An 84-year-old man remains in hospital in critical condition after he was hit by a Winnipeg Transit bus early Tuesday afternoon.

The pedestrian was struck in the area of Chief Peguis Trail and Henderson Highway just before 12:20 p.m.

Eastbound traffic on Chief Peguis Trail was closed between Henderson and Main Street as Winnipeg police investigated.

Later, about 2 p.m., police were called to the area of Chief Peguis Trail and Rothesay Street after a dump truck hit the overpass.?Rothesay was closed to both northbound and southbound traffic at the overpass, as were the eastbound lanes of Chief Peguis.

The area has since re-opened to traffic.

As usual it’s being?recommended?to be aware of your surrounding specially when you are crossing any street, always look both sides of the route and also just remember that if you are cutting off a heavy?vehicles your chances of having a vehicle accident is higher, heavy vehicles don’t stop the same as cars, and is the same for pedestrians. ?Eventhough, we are professional and ?courteous drivers common sense should be used to avoid serious?injurious.