Winnipeg offers veterans, Armed Forces members free transit rides for Remembrance Day

Veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces will get to ride the bus for free this Remembrance Day thanks, in part, to a retired Winnipeg Transit driver.

Military ID or uniform required to catch fare-free Winnipeg Transit ride, city says

A spokesperson with the City of Winnipeg said Winnipeg Transit drivers participate in assault prevention training, yet nothing was done to stop a 19 year-old woman from being assaulted by three men last month. (CBC)

Veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces will get to ride the bus for free this Remembrance Day thanks, in part, to a retired Winnipeg Transit driver.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced Friday the city would be waiving transit fees for veterans, active-duty Forces members and their families on Saturday.

"[It is] one small way the city is able to recognize the tremendous commitment they have made, and continue to make, to our community and country," Bowman said in a statement.

"I am very pleased we were able to find a way to provide this recognition this year, and will be looking at ways to make this recognition permanent on a go forward basis."

Those who qualify must be in uniform or be able to present a CF1 card or military identification.

The announcement follows a series of attempts from former Winnipeg Transit George Morrison to get free rides for veterans. 

Former Winnipeg Transit driver George Morrison lobbied the city for years to provide free bus rides for veterans on Remembrance Day. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Morrison, 60, drove for transit for 30 years and recently emailed Bowman asking him to make the change.

"It's been a long fight over several years, so it's … good to see that the city and transit has finally decided to do the right thing and to allow our veterans to ride free on Nov. 11," Morrison wrote in an email to CBC News.

"It's a small token of our gratitude for everything they've done for us!"

He maintained the initiative wouldn't cost the city much and that it would be a great way to show veterans their sacrifices are still valued by Winnipeggers.

The city estimates it will cost $10,000 to organize and run the initiative.

The message "Lest We Forget" will be displayed on in-service transit buses on Saturday, all of which will pull over at 11 a.m. to take part in a minute of silence, the city said in a statement.

The Winnipeg Parking Authority is also waiving parking fees at the Millennium Library for anyone with a veteran licence plate. The city said veterans can park at the library and walk to the Convention Centre through the skywalk at City Place.

Calgary Transit buses, like the one in this photo posted on Twitter, bear 'Lest We Forget' messages around Remembrance Day and rides are free for veterans. (@Numbr1Flamesfan/@CalgaryTransit)

Where to go on Remembrance Day

Some Manitoba celebrations:

The Annual Winnipeg Remembrance Day Service at RBC Convention Centre (375 York Ave.) hosted by the Joint Veterans' Association of Manitoba begins at 10:15 a.m. and will be livestreamed on

A parade to St. Philip's Anglican Church will begin at 10:15 a.m., for a service at 11 a.m. A light lunch and speeches will follow.

Indian and Metis Friendship Centre's annual Veterans Pow wowHosted by the T-Bird Drum Group and Mr. Sweetpea Starr, featuring a 1 p.m. Grand Entry, followed by a feast, and a 6 p.m. Grand Entry. 

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is unveiling a veteran's monument in St. Eustache with the names of over 450 Métis and local veterans. After mass at 9:20 a.m., several dignitaries will speak as the monument is unveiled. After a service of remembrance at 11 a.m., lunch will be served.

The RCA Museum at CFB Shilo, Man. will be open, free of charge on Remembrance Day from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Its two temporary galleries are focused on Anne Frank and Vimy Ridge.

Donate blood: The Winnipeg Blood Centre, 777 William Ave., is looking for donations in honour of Remembrance Day from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Oak Park High School is hosting a ceremony put on by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 100 from 10 a.m.-noon, followed by a reception at the Charleswood Legion.

Marshal at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Community Centre (27 Overton Street) for a parade to the cenotaph at Guay Park, then return to Glenwood for refreshments.

In Winnipeg Beach, Man. a service begins at 10 a.m. at the local legion.