Transit union concerned reduction in service could be a problem for drivers and riders
WINNIPEG -- COVID-19 has led to a significant drop in ridership for Winnipeg Transit.
The City of Winnipeg said it was losing $6 million a month, so they made some changes, and on May 4, the bus schedule shifted to an enhanced Saturday and Sunday service.
The city’s transit ridership numbers show a 70 per cent decrease in passengers in the first week of April compared to April 2019, in the last week of April, the decrease was 65 per cent.
The City of Winnipeg told CTV News the numbers for the first week of May - the first week of reduced services - are not yet available.
Romeo Ignacio, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1505, said since May 4, bus drivers have noticed an increase in passengers on major bus routes.
He believes emergency funding from the Federal Government in Ottawa would eliminate the need to reduce service and help buses maintain good physical distancing.
“We need to have that funding to replace, at least in the meantime, the lost revenue from the regular fares," said Ignacio.
Probe Research Inc. was hired by ATU Canada to survey Canadians regarding their views on Transit.
Eight in ten Winnipeggers support the Federal Government providing emergency funds for public transit, and more than 70 per cent said they consider transit to be a critical service.
The Probe Research poll also showed that 45 per cent of Winnipeggers believe public transit gets too little funding, nine per cent said it gets too much, and 46 per cent believe transit gets the right amount.