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Council approves freeze for Winnipeg Transit fares

Council votes in favour of freezing Winnipeg Transit fares
WATCH: Global's Austin Siragusa breaks down council's decision to freeze fares for users of Winnipeg Transit.

Passengers on Winnipeg buses won’t have to pay more to ride in the new year.

Thursday, city councillors approved a motion to keep fares for  Winnipeg Transit at 2018 rates.

Over the past several years, rates have gone up in January — fares jumped as much as 25 cents per adult ticket at the beginning of 2018.

Mayor Brian Bowman suggested the rate in light of an almost $8-million budget surplus, largely attributed to Transit operations.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Transit forecasts $7.9 million dollar surplus

Numerous councillors were pleased to see the freeze.

“People that need to get to work, advance their education, to sustain their lives and families needed a break. I see this as a good break,” Elmwood – East Kildonan Councillor Jason Schreyer said.

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“It was the right response to entertain a motion for a fare freeze for 2019 given that we’ve just raised fares 25 cents and now that we are looking at a surplus of $8-million,” St. James Councillor Scott Gillingham said.

READ MORE: Mayor says 2019 will be Winnipeg’s ‘year of transit’

Mayor Brian Bowman while fares won’t change, many things about the service should. He said there are a number of pressing issues with the system.

“Winnipeg Transit hasn’t significantly seen changes in many, many decades. I would really like to make significant changes and improvements to better position transit for the future,” Bowman said.

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“I anticipate there will be very difficult decisions to be made,” Bowman added.

Bowman didn’t say what changes, specifically. An operations review of transit is expected to be presented in the new year.

WATCH: Winnipeg transit union calls for more buses

Winnipeg transit union calls for more buses
Winnipeg transit union calls for more buses