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Winnipeg Transit fare freeze proposed for 2019

Click to play video 'Winnipeg Transit fare freeze' Winnipeg Transit fare freeze
City Council's Executive Policy Committee voted Wednesday enact a fare freeze in new year, thanks to an expected $7.9-million surplus in transit operations this year.

For bus riders, is seems like an annual occurrence — bus fares going up at the beginning of the year. But Mayor Brian Bowman has tabled a motion to hold off on increasing Winnipeg Transit fares, at least for 2019.

City Council’s Executive Policy Committee voted Wednesday enact a fare freeze in new year, thanks to an expected $7.9-million surplus in transit operations this year.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Transit forecasts $7.9 million dollar surplus

The city said the surplus was largely due to the 25 cent hike in bus fares in 2018, which was intended to make up for a provincial transit-funding freeze.

Transit expected ridership to decline because of the rate increase, but it remained steady.

WATCH: Winnipeg mayor fixed on freezing 2019 bus fares

Click to play video 'Winnipeg mayor fixed on freezing 2019 bus fares' Winnipeg mayor fixed on freezing 2019 bus fares
Winnipeg mayor fixed on freezing 2019 bus fares

“Council made the very difficult decision last year to raise transit fares to help cover a projected revenue shortfall in transit, a department that is now projecting a year-end surplus in the millions and that’s in the midst of conducting a comprehensive operational review,” Mayor Bowman said.

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“For transit riders, even an inflationary adjustment in this context is incomprehensible and equally unnecessary.”

READ MORE: Busload of options for low-income transit passes available across Canada

The fare freeze remains subject to council approval. A full adult fare is currently $2.95.