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Future Transit Development

Southwest Transitway Stage 2 Alignment Final Report

Winnipeg Transit and the Province of Manitoba recently retained a consulting firm to examine alignment options for Stage 2 of the Southwest Transitway. Click here for the Final Report – SWRTC Stage 2 Alignment Options.pdf

Southwest Transitway Stage 2 Alignment

To view the display boards from the open house you can click on the Southwest Transitway Stage 2 Alignment Open House boards.pdf


  • The City struck a Working Group comprised of City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba to support the assessment of Stage 2 options for the southwest Transitway.
  • A study is currently underway to review the future rapid transit needs for southwest Winnipeg to examine and evaluate possible alignment options for the Stage 2 extension of the Southwest Transitway bearing in mind future growth and land use patterns consistent with OurWinnipeg and other supporting City plans and strategies.
  • The Study reviews the major alignment options considering engineering, socio-economic and environmental issues, property impacts, transit-oriented development (TOD), tax incentives, ridership, active transportation, and expected construction costs.
  • The study details the two primary alignment options for the extension of the Southwest Transitway from the south end of the Fort Rouge Yards, as directed by the Master Transportation Plan:
  • The Hydro Corridor alignment runs west from Pembina through the Parker Lands then south through the Manitoba Hydro Corridor that divides the Fort Garry Industrial area from the Beaumont and Maybank residential neighbourhoods.
  • The Letellier alignment runs south along the west side of Pembina on the east side of the Letellier CN Rail right-of-way, behind the Pembina Highway businesses from the Pembina Underpass to McGillivray and then through the middle of the Maybank neighbourhood.
  • Both concepts are the same where the Hydro corridor joins the CN Rail right-of-way in the vicinity of the Sugar Beet Lands.
  • South of the Sugar Beet Lands, both concepts proceed south to Bison Drive along the CN Rail right-of-way.
  • Either alignment opens several options to access the future station at Investors Group Field (the new Stadium at the University of Manitoba).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Each conceptual alignment option has advantages and disadvantages:

Hydro Corridor advantages:

  • more opportunities for transit-oriented development;
  • fewer private properties required therefore lower land costs;
  • less neighbourhood impact;
  • easy to accommodate active transportation;
  • faster operating speeds; and
  • significant positive tax implications due to future new transit-oriented development

Hydro Corridor disadvantages:

  • longer distance on a dedicated corridor;
  • major negotiations with Manitoba Hydro required; and
  • potential impact on users of vacant Parker land and Hydro corridor.

Letellier advantages:

  • shorter, more direct distance;
  • more service along Pembina Highway; and
  • more transit access for residences in the Maybank neighbourhood.

Letellier disadvantages:

  • more at-grade intersections to cross, significantly impacting traffic on crossing streets;
  • no room for co-located active transportation;
  • negotiations and relocation of CN tracks required;
  • lower running speeds;
  • no opportunity for future full operational build-out;
  • immediate commercial and residential property impacts with significant property costs;
  • reduced incremental tax benefits to the City due to fewer new opportunities for transit oriented
    development; and
  • higher overall cost (construction and property).

September 2008

Rapid Transit agreement announced – $138-million Project To Include Dedicated Bicycle Paths

WINNIPEG – September 8, 2008 – A rapid transit system and dedicated bicycle paths linking south Winnipeg to the downtown is one step closer to shovels going in the ground following a $138-million funding agreement reached between the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba, Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz announced today.

“This is a significant infrastructure project linking south Winnipeg to our downtown,” said Doer. “It will help improve transit ridership and efficiency, while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Kyoto targets. I am pleased to partner with the mayor on this important initiative.”

The first stage of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor will receive a $138-million investment and will extend from Jubilee Avenue to The Forks with a second, future stage to run from Jubilee Avenue to Bison Drive with both stages incorporating bike paths into their construction.

“I’ve always said rapid transit is part of our city’s future,” said Katz. “Today’s announcement takes a comprehensive approach to link our city with hubs focusing on mixed residential and commercial development that will provide the financial stability needed to make this important project a reality. By laying the groundwork today, we can move ahead on providing Winnipeggers with quick, reliable and green transportation alternatives at a time when gas prices are an unprecedented high.”

Winnipeg will contribute $30.75 million which includes $17.5 million from the 2008 Federal Transit Trust. The province will match the federal transit trust contribution of $17.5 million and will fund 50 per cent of the net operating costs of the rapid transit system through its existing 50-50 transit funding agreement, fulfilling its legislative commitment under the Climate Change Act passed earlier this spring.

The new rapid transit corridor will utilize the innovative tax increment financing tool to capture any incremental growth from residential and commercial infill development along the rapid transit corridor. Tax increment financing is an investment and development tool that reinvests property and school taxes into certain areas to encourage infrastructure development that otherwise would not take place.

As part of today’s agreement, the mayor and premier also agreed to jointly seek a one-third federal contribution to the second stage of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor and agreed to work together to continue the development of a comprehensive rapid transit system for the city of Winnipeg.

Southwest Transit Corridor Map

November 2007

On Friday November 16th a press conference was held in the walkway above Graham Ave by representatives from all three levels of Government to discuss Transit Improvements. To view the press release and Backgrounder click on the Moving Winnipeg Transit Improvements Forward Press Release.

October 2007

The first phase of the bus stop upgrade program is nearing completion. Phase one of this major upgrade program includes the installation of 104 new shelters of which 37 will be heated shelters, new signage and information kiosks, new benches, and sidewalk improvements. The new signs represent a major change in our bus stop identity replacing the traditional flying T and bus that have adorned transit bus stop plates since 1986.

New Shelter and Sign at southbound Pembina Highway at Warsaw

The Phase one upgrades have been at major stops including:

  • Downtown (Graham, Portage, Main, Vaughan, Donald, Fort, U of W)
  • Confusion Corner – Osborne Village (Stradbrook and River)
  • Polo Park
  • Kildonan Place
  • St. Vital Centre
  • University of Manitoba
  • Pembina Highway
  • Henderson Highway
  • Regent Avenue West

Additional upgrades will be undertaken along other major arterial roads and at major activity centres in 2008 and 2009. These other corridors include Portage Avenue and Main Street (outside of the downtown), Notre Dame, McPhillips, Marion/Goulet, St. Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Grant Avenue.

On-Street Transit Priority Program

Phase one of the On-Street Transit Priority Program, part of the Transit Improvement Program approved by Council in 2006, also began this fall. The three phase program in being undertaken from 2007 to 2009. Phase one includes work on Pembina Highway, St. Mary’s Road, and St. Anne’s Road. Most of the work will be completed this fall, with some measures on St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s being completed next spring.

During each phase, three to four major arterials are assessed for transit priority improvements (such as signal timing improvements, road geometry improvements, transit queue jumps, transit signal priority lights, and transit-only lanes) with the most feasible measures subsequently being implemented. The goal is to improve bus operating speeds and transit on-time reliability in each corridor. New transit priority areas in Phase 1 where only transit buses are permitted to operate 24/7, will have new concrete with a red tint. The distinct colour of the concrete has been used in other jurisdictions and has been found to be an effective self-enforcement design technique to keep non-transit traffic from using transit-only lanes.

Phase two will include the Henderson, Nairn/Regent, Notre Dame/Cumberland, and the McPhillips corridors with implementation in the summer/fall of 2008. Phase three includes Portage, Main, and Marion/Goulet scheduled for the summer/fall of 2009.

Some of the 2007 improvement highlights include:

  • Improvements to signal timings at all intersections along Pembina
  • Widening of NB University Crescent to 3 lanes between Wedgewood and Pembina
  • Construction of a “Transit Only” roadway between the off-ramp from Bishop Grandin to Chancellor and the bus bay at Pembina and University Crescent
  • NB Pembina and Jubilee – new Queue Jump with “Transit Only” approach lane and transit priority signal
  • North and Southbound Osborne at Confusion corner – new Queue Jump with “Transit Only” approach lane and transit priority signal
  • WB Exit from Osborne and Corydon bus bay – new transit priority signal for buses turning south on Pembina Highway
  • Improvements to signal timings at all intersections St Mary’s Rd and St Anne’s Rd
  • NB St. Mary’s and Bishop Grandin – new short “Transit Only” lane near-side and far-side the intersection
  • New transit priority signals SB St. Mary’s and Bishop Grandin and SB St. Mary’s and Fermor
  • NB St. Mary’s and Dakota – new Queue Jump with “Transit Only” approach lane and transit priority signal
  • St. Anne’s and Bishop Grandin – new SB and NB transit priority signals.
  • NB St. Anne’s and Fermor/Kingswood – intersection improvements at Fermor to permit buses to approach Kingswood without changing lanes, plus a transit priority signal at Kingswood
  • NB St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s – new transit priority signal

Red Cement at Confusion Corner identifies Transit only lanes.

February 2006

In the 2006 capital budget that was approved by City Council on February 21, 2006 significant funding was authorized to implement many of the recommendations made by the Rapid Transit Task Force. The Task Force was set up by Mayor Sam Katz to develop a “made in Winnipeg” approach to future transit needs.

Over the next five years Winnipeg will see many changes in the way transit service is provided. With the upgrading and refurbishing of bus stops along “Quality Corridors” and major technological developments in the way we provide transit service information to the public the next few years will bring major challenges and improvements to Winnipeg Transit.

October 2005

On October 19, Executive Policy Committee received the final report of the Rapid Transit Task Force and recommended to Council:

  1. That the Rapid Transit Task Force – Made in Winnipeg Rapid Transit Solution – Final Report dated September 2005, be received as information.
  2. That the Proper Officers of the City be authorized to do all things necessary to implement the intent of the foregoing.
  3. That the Administration review the report of the Rapid Transit Task Force and report back to Executive Policy Committee on analysis of options and advice with respect to:
    • Implementation of the Report’s recommendations
    • A priority list of short-term improvements that can be undertaken in 2006-2007
    • Timelines for potential implementation
    • Costs of options being recommended
    • Funding options for potential project costs

At its meeting on October 26, 2005, Council adopted the October 19, 2005 recommendations of Executive Policy Committee with respect to the final report of the Rapid Transit Task Force.

October 2004

Mayor Katz appointed the Rapid Transit Task Force, with Councillor Wyatt as Chair and Councillors Pagtakhan and Gerbasi as members. In addition, a six-person Advisory Council of citizens was appointed to support the Rapid Transit Task Force in its work.

The Rapid Transit Task Force officially commenced its work on December 15, 2004 with approval of its work plan by EPC Secretariat and Council approval of its project budget. The Task Force was to submit its report to Executive Policy Committee by June 30, 2005. In July 2005, Council granted a 90-day extension to this deadline. The Task Force completed its final report in September 2005.

September 2004

Council adopted a recommendation of Executive Policy Committee to reallocate $43 million of the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund agreement from the Bus Rapid Transit project to community recreation and leisure facility projects, to allocate $7.5 million of the BRT funding to transit modernization initiatives, to pursue funding for transit modernization from other sources (including the Green Municipal Funds Program), and to establish a Rapid Transit Task Force to recommend a long-term rapid transit plan for the City.