Rapid transit extension plan passed by Winnipeg EPC

Plans to expand Winnipeg's bus rapid transit system has cleared another hurdle, after council's executive policy committee passed the proposal today.
Councillors on council's executive policy committee passed the plan for Phase 2 of rapid transit on Wednesday, meaning it will go to council as a whole for a final decision. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Plans to expand Winnipeg's bus rapid transit system has cleared another hurdle, after council's executive policy committee passed the proposal today.

Councillors on EPC passed the rapid transit plan on Wednesday, meaning it will go to council as a whole for a final decision.

Phase 2 would expand the existing Southwest Transitway corridor, which runs from downtown to Jubilee Avenue, by 7.6 kilometres to the University of Manitoba.

In recent weeks, councillors have been debating whether to proceed with Phase 2 at all, with some suggesting the whole system should be replaced with light rail.

Prior to Wednesday's vote, EPC members grilled senior administrators on the details of the expansion plan.

Councillors Russ Wyatt, Justin Swandel and John Orlikow raised numerous doubts about bus rapid transit, including its costs and financing, a dogleg route being planned off Pembina Highway, and whether it can be converted to light rail.

In the end, Swandel was the only councillor on EPC who voted against the plan.

The next council meeting will be on June 25.

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