On a city council poised to cut transit, only 1 councillor regularly rides the bus – Manitoba

Only one member of the Winnipeg city council that’s poised to hike bus fares while cutting back service relies on Winnipeg Transit on a regular basis.

Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie is the only elected official at city hall who takes a bus every work day, a survey of all 16 members of council reveals. He’s also the only member of council who cannot drive.

Nine members of council said they take a bus several times a month, three said they only use Winnipeg Transit on rare occasions and another three said they don’t use public transit at all.

On Tuesday, city council will debate a 2018 budget that calls for transit fare hikes of 25 cents and reductions of service along a maximum of 22 routes during off-peak hours.

While personal use of transit is no pre-requisite for support, CBC News asked each member of council about their transit usage. Here’s what they had to say:​

Mayor Brian Bowman

Transit use: Occasional.

Winnipeg’s mayor said he takes the bus occasionally but also bikes to work, albeit not as often as he likes.

“My primary mode of transportation is driving,” Bowman said Wednesday during a break in an executive policy committee meeting. 

“Given my schedule throughout the day, having a vehicle at city hall is something that I’m required to do.”

Mayor Brian Bowman says he occasionally uses transit. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Coun. Matt Allard

Transit use: Seldom.

​St. Boniface Coun. Allard said he rarely takes the bus, but will do so every day during the month of January.

“Unlike many of my constituents who depend on transit, I have the means to drive if I have something urgent or time sensitive to do during my workday,” he said via email.

“If I’m not in a rush, it’s generally faster to walk to city hall from my house in North St. Boniface than it is to take the No. 10 or 43 or 56.

“Further, if I am meeting constituents in my ward, especially in neighbourhoods like Island Lakes, Royalwood, Sage Creek and Southdale, it…

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