Union wants city to restore full transit service in Winnipeg
A Winnipeg Transit bus is pictured near Polo Park.
WINNIPEG -- The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 (ATU) is calling on the City of Winnipeg to bring back regular transit services as Phase 3 of reopening begins.
In a news release, the union, which represents over 1,400 workers, notes that as restrictions are loosened, more and more people will be returning to work. It said transit workers have been on the front lines since the start of the pandemic, and they’ve been calling on the city to provide a “safe and reliable transit system.”
The union added the current level of transit services, which has been reduced due to the pandemic, doesn’t allow for proper physical distancing to be maintained.
“Our Executive Board has received an overwhelming number of calls from riders asking for better transit service,” said Romeo Ignacio, president of ATU 1505, in the news release.
The union highlighted the Public Health Act, which says municipal public transportation can operate as long as measures have been put in place so passengers can maintain distance from one another.
Members of the transit union will be in downtown Winnipeg on Graham Avenue Wednesday morning, giving out masks and sharing a petition to get the city to restore regular transit services.
CTV Winnipeg reported last week that the city is bringing back 100 transit operators over the next three weeks who were temporarily laid off amid the pandemic.
The city previously said Winnipeg Transit saw a substantial reduction in ridership during the pandemic, and it will adjust services based on demand.
Jay Shaw, with the city’s emergency response centre, said at a news conference on Tuesday that the city has no new announcements regarding the restoration of transit services.
“I can tell you that we are still monitoring weekly transit use and we are still in that approximate 68 to 70 per cent reduction in transit ridership and I’ve been working with transit daily at least this week and last week to discuss what our long-term plans are, trying to get information and looking at data so we can make good decisions moving forward,” he said.