Taxis allowed in diamond lanes on Winnipeg roads during 1 year pilot project
Published Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:13PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:25PM CST
The city will begin an experiment on Winnipeg roads in the New Year.
A ban on taxis in diamond lanes will officially be lifted for a one year pilot project, thanks to an amendment to Winnipeg’s 2018 budget.
Currently, the lanes are reserved for the use of Winnipeg Transit and cyclists during rush hour.
"What's the use of having a diamond lane then?" asked Aleem Chaudhary, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505.
"The diamond lane was made for the purpose of buses only to speed up service. And they have speeded up the service, so why do you want to slow it down? It makes no sense at all."
A city report from October came to a similar conclusion. It recommended against allowing taxis to use diamond lanes, saying it would increase delays to transit, resulting in increased operating costs to the city and degraded service quality for a large number of bus passengers.
"There will be cabs and they will plug up the lanes," predicted Coun. Janice Lukes (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert Ward).
But Scott McFadyen from the Winnipeg Community Taxi Coalition disagreed.
"The good thing about the one year pilot project on the diamond lanes is that we can look at it in a year, and address some of the problems."
Cab Driver Jaspal Bedi doesn't believe there will be many problems. He said opening diamond lanes to cabs will be a positive experience.
"It improves our customer service. We can provide a faster service, get around, move around the city."
The pilot project is set to begin on March 1 of 2018 to coincide with the vehicle for hire bylaw.