August 22, 2014 3:07 pm

Steeves vows to derail rapid transit plan

Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves announces he will scrap the planned second phase of Winnipeg's rapid transit line at an event on Friday, August 22, 2014

Rudi Pawlychyn

WINNIPEG – A candidate for mayor of Winnipeg is pledging to scrap the city’s planned second leg of rapid transit.

Gord Steeves says the proposed route of the $600 million Bus Rapid Transit line from Jubilee Ave. to the University of Manitoba makes no sense, because it takes what he calls a $100 million detour through a green space known as the Parker Lands, rather than a direct route along Pembina Highway.

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“My vision for the city is to ensure a rapid transit plan which not only offers the most direct route, but also enhances the developments already on Pembina Highway,” Steeves is quoted in a news release Friday. “A BRT route through the Parker Lands does not accomplish either of these goals. This BRT line is Winnipeg’s BiPole 3,” Steeves said, referring to the province’s controversial plan for a Hydro line that will take a long detour, adding significantly to the cost.

Steeves says the current BRT plan would “save only a few minutes in transit time” and result in $221 million dollars in debt for city taxpayers.

Steeves vowed to hold a city council vote on scrapping the transit plan immediately after being elected mayor. He didn’t offer an alternative plan for a rapid transit route.

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