This letter was published, in a slightly edited form, in the March 10th edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.
Dear Mayor Sam Katz,
I was pleased to hear that you cancelled the 20 cent transit fare hike. The toll that hike would have taken on lower-income families and individuals who depend on the bus would have been severe, and would have discouraged others from taking the bus.
It’s too bad that you’ve used this as an opportunity to cancel rapid transit though. In the long run, the rapid transit plan should benefit all Winnipeggers by reducing travel times and congestion on the roads.
Here’s a suggestion: what about that $7 million that was originally dedicated for rapid transit, but then set aside for a water park? Since no one seems to want to build a water park in Winnipeg, even with a $7 million dollar subsidy, couldn’t we return that to the rapid transit budget?
And, since it’s almost double the $3.6 million dollars that the fare hike would have raised, we could also reduce transit fares by 20 cents. Seems like a win-win situation to me.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba