Winnipeg Transit invited citizens to a free ride on the Southwest Transitway on Thursday April 5, 2012. Free rides were offered from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm, giving Winnipegger's a chance to see their city in fast forward.
“This is a great opportunity for Winnipeggers to test drive the new RT before it goes into full operation on April 8,” said Mayor Sam Katz.
The 3.6 km Transitway is a high-speed roadway for buses, physically separated from the regular street system. Buses on the Transitway will operate at speeds up to 80 km/h, free of any other traffic, providing very fast, reliable service.
On Thursday evening, we took a ride on the new Southwest Transitway from Jubilee (stop #11034) to Graham Mall (stop #10619) and back.
Raw Video: A ride on the Southwest Transitway.
During the ride our host Andru Valpy (@AimlessAndru) tweeted his observations:
6:27 PM - At least 20 people are on the RT express bus I'm on. We were able to hit 80 km around the Fort Rouge area.
6:28 PM - Driver referred to the underground tunnel by Osborne station as "The Love Tunnel".
6:31 PM - Bus driver is still learning the route! Just about made a left turn on to St. Mary instead of Graham Mall. Says he was used to turning there.
6:32 PM - Just rode from Jubilee to Graham Mall in 14 minutes. Not too bad. Pretty rapid so far.
6:36 PM - Bus driver just gave me a rapid transit pen as I exited at The Bay. Now for the return trip.
6:58 PM - Getting ready for my return trip now.
7:05 PM - Second bus driver informed us that the bus stop in front of The Bay is not actually a stop for BRT. Kind of confusing if you're going South Bound.
7:07 PM -…at least he stopped for us. But not without giving us a bit of grief and a head shake. Perhaps he forgets today's the first day of #brt.
7:08 PM - Guy walks on the bus and says to the bus driver "I had to see what 40 million dollars paid for". Gives credit to himself for paying taxes.
7:12 PM - 7:33 - time from Graham to Harkness.
7:14 PM - 9:33 - time from Graham to Osborne.
7:16 PM - 11:05 time from Graham to Fort Rouge.
7:17 PM - 12:32 time from Graham to Jubilee.
7:19 PM - That concludes my free trial of the #brt system. My favourite part was the tunnel:
|Photo by Andru Valpy|
7:20 PM - Overall I liked the design and ease of riding the #brt and if I worked downtown I'd probably use it. 12 minutes isn't too bad.
Detailed route and schedule information for the new Rapid Transit service, which includes 13 rapid transit routes, is now available at http://winnipegtransit.com. On April 8, Rapid Transit service information will be available on all the TransitTOOLS passenger information systems Winnipegtransit.com, Navigo Trip Planner., TeleBUS, BUStxt, BUSguide, BUSwatch, and BUSgadget).
Additional information about the Southwest Transitway may be found at: http://www.winnipegtransit.com/en/southwest-transitway/