We wanted to have patrons be able to shuttle to at least our outlying main venues and to some of the BYOVs (bring your own venues) that are along the route.
—Chuck McEwen, artistic director
The new Fringe Flyer shuttle will offer patrons of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival free transportation between venues.
The chartered bus with branded signage will operate every 30 minutes between 5:30 and 11:30 every evening. There are nine stops, including MTYP at The Forks, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Portage Place, the University of Winnipeg and several stops in the Old Market Square hub.
Fringe Flyer map and schedule is available in festival programs and online
"We wanted to have patrons be able to shuttle to at least our outlying main venues and to some of the BYOVs (bring your own venues) that are along the route," says festival artistic director Chuck McEwen.
He says this gives people the chance to consider going to some of the shows that are a bit further away.
"We think it's great for Fringe mobility. It's also a green initiative, so hopefully people won't be using their cars much, that would be great."
Parking is one of their biggest issues, McEwen says, so he would prefer if patrons took transit, rode a bike or walked to the Fringe.
"We're now at 169 companies and 32 venues. As the festival grows, there are going to be more and more venues outside of our central core in the Exchange District. It allows for people to make different play selection choices if they have the ability to get on a bus and get a bit further away than they would normally be able to walk."
The shuttle misses other outlying venues like the Gas Station Theatre, West End Cultural Centre and Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre. McEwen hopes to expand the service in the future to reach other areas.
The Fringe Flyer joins other transit options already in place. The Downtown Spirit bus runs weekdays until 3:30 and 5:30 on weekends, while the River Spirit Water Bus can transport patrons from The Forks to the Gas Station Theatre.The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival runs July 17 - 28.
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