Affordable Transit for All

Moved by Councillor Santos, 

WHEREAS the City of Winnipeg has made a significant effort to reduce mobility barriers with free transit for children 11 and under, and the low-income bus pass program;

WHEREAS public transportation has the potential to be a way to help solve climate change, income inequality gaps and addressing racial disparities, as well as traffic and congestion problems;

WHEREAS without a functioning transit system that is reliable, affordable, and accessible to all, transportation is in reality a barrier to all of those opportunities;

WHEREAS the COVID 19 pandemic has decreased ridership by up to 72% in April 2020 and continues have decreased ridership to an average of 59% by year-end;

WHEREAS a free or simplified transit fare system could increase and promote transit ridership and stimulate spending in the local economy;

WHEREAS most assaults on bus operators arise because of fare disputes and a simplified fare system could alleviate violent incidents and increase operator and rider safety;

WHEREAS many community-based organizations have identified affordability of transportation as a barrier to community involvement in employment, community programming and accessing health care;

WHEREAS seniors on a fixed income find current Transit Senior Fare to still be unaffordable;

WHEREAS over 100 cities worldwide have implemented free fare transit systems, including 15 jurisdictions in Canada temporarily during portions of the pandemic;

WHEREAS jurisdictions with free fare transit systems have shown positive results including lower administrative costs, savings in travel time, increased ridership, improved mobility equity and enhanced community pride as well as reductions in traffic congestion and pollution;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works be requested to direct the Winnipeg Public Service to report back to the Lord Selkirk West Kildonan Community Committee within 120 days on the following:

1. The administrative cost savings and implementation costs of $1.00 bus transit fare for all transit while retaining free fare for children under 11 and under;

2. The administrative cost savings and implementation costs of providing fare free transit service for all.