You may have heard the news… the City of Winnipeg’s preliminary 2018 budget is calling for an increase in fare prices by 25 cents while cutting service to 22 routes.
Typically, Winnipeg Transit’s prices are raised by 5 cents/year. For some Winnipeggers, this small increase poses challenges. As such, the proposed raise of 25 cents would put a much larger strain on some peoples’ wallets. For Nicolette Jones, who moved to Winnipeg last year and budgeted her and husband’s year down to the penny, a quarter could be the difference between being able to go somewhere or not.
“When the bus fare was raised by five cents — I mean it’s just five cents, right? But it did throw our budget out of whack… My husband, because it was $2.70 instead of $2.65 or $2.35 based on the student fare, he couldn’t go to as many places as before… It may not seem like a lot, but it was a lot to us.”
In addition to making transit inaccessible for many, the proposed fare hikes–coupled with the service route cuts–will further discourage many others from choosing to take transit. As approximately 39% of Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, discouraging people from taking transit is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing if we want to reduce our province’s footprint and transition to a low-carbon economy.
As City Council will be voting on the budget on December 12th, Functional Transit Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Labour Council, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 have joined forces to make sure that Council knows how Winnipeggers feel about the proposed fare hike. Here are a few ways that you can take action to help fight back against this fare hike.
1. Participate in the Sardine Award campaign.
Post photos of over-crowded buses on Facebook & Twitter! Use the hashtag #SardineLife, include the Route number, and tag @MayorBowman in your post! The best photos will be entered to “Win Back Your Pass”, the equivalent of a free January adult bus pass valued at $100 – deadline is December 11th, 2017!
2. Share your ideas, views, and suggestions regarding Manitoba’s recently-announced “Made in Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.”
Having affordable public transit is important for reducing our emissions – the deadline to share your thoughts is December 22nd, 2017!
3. Join the movement.
Email Katie at [email protected] if you are interested in joining the Affordable Accessible Transit Campaign! Individuals and organizations are welcome: we’ve joined, and we know at least 29 other organizations have joined too! Joining on commits you to help out how you can, whether that’s by printing resources to hand out at your direct service work, sharing resources with your contacts, and/or encouraging others to call or email their city councillors. Not sure who your councillor is or how to contact them? Click here. Functional Transit Winnipeg has also set up a handy email form to message your MLA and City Councillors!
**Make sure to let Katie know how many calls and emails you were able to facilitate by December 8th (4:30pm), as she’s going to compile the total number.
4. Attend the Executive Policy Committee meeting on December 5th at 9:00am.
The 2018 budget is on the table for this agenda, and this is an open meeting! There are already many advocates registered to speak, but showing up to support them is greatly appreciated!
5. Spread the word!
Share this blog post, any of the links in this post or your own thoughts on the issue–but let’s make sure that
a) Winnipeggers are talking about this issue; and
b) that City Council knows Winnipeggers are talking about it!
Here are a few op-eds/posts that you can also share:
Winnipeg Free Press
- Fare hike ‘has a lot of consequences’
- Indigenous, newcomers decry planned jump in bus fare
- Transit identifies routes targeted for reduction
- All Winnipeg needs for Christmas is fair transit fare
- Newcomer, Indigenous groups unite to oppose proposed Winnipeg Transit fare hike
- Winnipeg Transit reveals 22 routes face possible cuts
Functional Transit Winnipeg