Interesting Transit Facts
Transit and the Environment
Consider transit as your transportation alternative and help protect our environment.
- A car driver uses more energy and creates more air pollution in just 4 years than a transit passenger in 40 years.
- The average cost to keep a car on the road is about $8,000.00 a year or about $660 per month? (based on 12,000 km/year, including insurance, fuel, maintenance and parking).
- In rush hour, there’s an average of 1.2 persons per car. At that rate 2 buses can carry as many people as a hundred cars. In a single lane the cars would stretch over a third of a mile; the buses only 90 feet – and that can reduce congestion, noise and air pollution by over 90%.
- In Canada, urban motorists account for over 40% of the energy for transportation while transit systems account for only 2%.
- Winnipeg Transit carries about 20% of all people travelling to and from work in Winnipeg.
- Reducing the number of vehicles on the road reduces emissions of carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming and the greenhouse effect. One car wouldn’t be a problem but in Canada there are over 12 million cars.
Interesting Transit Facts
- Winnipeg Transit has a fleet of 535 buses. More than half of these buses are low floor easy access buses, making public transportation more accessible for all Winnipeg citizens. Our fleet includes:
- 373 low floor buses, 40 ft. long
- 35 low floor buses, 30 ft. long
- 162 high floor buses, 40 ft. long
- Winnipeg Transit travels more than 25 million kilometres per year.
- The average 40’ low floor bus travels about 66,200 kms each year.
- A bus fuel tank holds about 470 litres of fuel.
- A bus can operate for approximately 35 hours on one tank of fuel.
- Winnipeg Transit consumes approximately 16 millions litres of low-sulphur diesel fuel each year.
- Winnipeg Transit spends about $8 million dollars on fuel each year.
- Winnipeg Transit employs 1,366 people, including approximately 950 bus operators.
- About 200 people maintain, repair, and rebuild buses in the shops at Winnipeg Transit.
- Tires are replaced after 295,000 kilometres.
- Engines are completely overhauled after 800,000 kilometres.
- Winnipeg Transit bus engines are cooled with water instead of anti-freeze, helping to save money and the environment.
- The average lifespan of a Winnipeg Transit bus is about 18 years. The national average is 12 years for a bus.
- A new bus costs approximately $400,000.
- Winnipeg Transit currently purchases 30 new buses each year.
- There are approximately 6,000 bus stops in Winnipeg.
- There are about 800 bus shelters and 1,500 transit benches in Winnipeg
The four current bus styles in Winnipeg Transit’s fleet are:
About the Winnipeg’s Transit Base – 421 Osborne St.
Winnipeg’s current transit base facility has served Winnipeg Transit for more than three decades. Interesting details about this facility include:
- Sits on more than 25 acres of land
- Contains more than 20,000 cubic yards of poured concrete.
- Officially opened on November 20, 1969, the transit base:
- Serviced a fleet of up to 650 buses
- Could service, vacuum, and wash 40 buses per hour
- Had storage room for 264 buses
- In 1979, storage for an additional 165 buses was added, extending the garage to its current location next to Osborne St.
- The Assiniboine Ave. facility had been the home base of Winnipeg’s transit system for 75 years.
History of Transit in Winnipeg
Public Transit, in the form of horse car, first ran in Winnipeg on October 20,1882. Fares were $0.10 cash or 15 tickets for $1.00. In the winter fares dropped to $0.05 cash per ride. The Winnipeg Street Railway Company was founded by a young entrepreneur from Toronto named Albert William Austin.
On January 28, 1891 at 7:30pm on the Park line near Osborne and Jubilee, the first electric car was tested. They began running in regular service in the summer of 1892.
July 8, 1906 saw the introduction of Sunday service.
The last all wood electric car was built in August of 1914.
On May 1, 1918 the first gasoline powered bus operated in Winnipeg.
On June 21, 1919, forever known as Bloody Saturday, street car 596 was set on fire by strikers. The car was being run by Winnipeg Electric Railway Company staff members that were not part of the union.
On November 21, 1938 the first trolley bus ran down Sargent Ave.
From 1939 – 1945 female street car operators took over from the male operators, who had volunteered to fight in the Second World War. At the peak there were 53 women employed as drivers and maintenance workers.
In 1948 the City of Winnipeg celebrated its 75th anniversary.
From 1901 to 1950 the face of public transit changed many times, but one face that changed very little was that of Tom Flood (pictured right). For 50 years Tom Flood worked as a motorman, before finally retiring in 1950.
September 18th, 1955 was the last day street cars ran in Winnipeg.
Not to be outdone by Tom Flood, W. H. Carter worked as the Transit Commission Chairman until the tender age of 82.
In 1965 diesel buses began to replace electric coaches. When service was expanded into new areas, overhead lines were taken down and diesel buses ran those lines.
On Friday March 4, 1966 Winnipeg saw one of the worst snow storms in its history . It was the first time since 1905 that the entire transit system was completely shut down due to weather conditions.
The last Trolley coach in Winnipeg ran on October 30, 1970.
In 1971, the Transit Department of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg became the City owned Winnipeg Transit System.
Winnipeg Transit bought its first low floor accessible bus in 1994.
In 2005 Winnipeg Transit took possession of its 290th low floor easy access bus. The arrival of this bus means that over half of Winnipeg Transit’s fleet of buses are now easy access.