Mr. Deputy Speaker: Any further questions? If not, thank you. We need suspension of the rules to hear an additional delegation. Jim Jarowski to speak in opposition. All in favour? Contrary? Carried. Recorded vote.
A RECORDED VOTE was taken the result being as follows:
Councillors De Smedt, Gerbasi, Lubosch, Pagtakhan, Smith, Steeves, Wyatt, Clement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker Councillor Lazarenko, His Worship Mayor Murray, Councillors Eadie, Angus, Thomas.
Deputy City Clerk: The vote Mr. Speaker, Yeas 8, Nays 5. Mr. Deputy Speaker: It’s carried. Mr. Jaworski.
Mr. Jim Jaworski: It’s sure nice to have some justice in this room once and a while.
As you can see in the news in the past few days, oil corrupts the human condition. It causes people to literally kill for the power of owning and controlling it. We don’t want a diesel powered misguided bus way in our city which is built on the same type of energy source. Winnipeg Transit senior administration and officials continue to dust off its 30 year plan to promote a propulsion technology closely tied to these interests. By their very nature buses can’t be sexy. Most people when talking of the bus will usually refer to it in a negative tone. Such as when will that damn bus arrive. That’s because diesel bus technology cannot copy the running characteristics of rail based transit in terms of passenger comfort and service frequency levels which would make it I guess a sexy train.
Bus ways were invented by the highway lobby, by people like Wendal Cox of the extreme right wing public purpose group in the U.S., and John Bonsal formerly of O.C. Transpo who oversaw the design of the Ottawa transit way.
Likewise the same type of minds have infiltrated our senior transit administration because they are connected to the political ideology of this extreme far right to oil and automobile war mongering imperialism of the current George W. Bush Administration, and the perpetual expansion of the diesel bus industry as stemming the flood of passengers that would if given the choice switch from cars to rail transit. Remember the PBS documentary a few years ago exposing General Motors in having a hand in dismantling of the streetcar systems of the 1950s and ‘60s. Likewise, our senior transit administration is perpetuating diesel bus only technology and will do anything in its power to stop rail transit from ever running here.
In effect they are their own worst enemy. They literally don’t want to see an increase in the number of passengers on our transit system.
You want proof? Bill Menzies was quoted in the story, Fix streets or build rapid transit system on the CBC Manitoba news website posted March 25, 2003, as saying, that WT won’t increase the size of the transit fleet for the Southwest Corridor by one more bus and service levels will basically remain exactly as current.
Want a recent example of bus way technology gone bad? The City of Nancy, France where the population of 200,000 citizens use dual mode guided bus way technology called a teffay or transit (inaudible) to expand its electric trolley bus network using proprietary does more costly technology and has had nothing but problems with it since day one.
The technical problems were so severe that the City was forced to shut down one month after March 2001 opening, and they had to put regular buses back on the street until the system is fixed.
To quote an article on lightrailnow.org regarding the Nancy system. “One of the teffay buses lost ability causing its rear end to strike a power line pole and injuring three passengers with flying glass. The drivers then went on a one day strike on the grounds that the new system was unsafe. No sooner had they been coaxed back to work when exactly the same thing happened at the same point in the early morning so there was no injuries. The line was shut down immediately and indefinitely pending an inquiry to be held by a technical commission.
Winnipeg Transit’s latest bus highway proposal is described by one website as small vehicles provide for internal transport facilities in factories and large automated transportation of containers and poor cargo handling yards. At frog.nl a list of applications for technology for which it is best suited include company warehouse, hospitals, airports, amusement parks and places of interest. I support this type of use but not for urban passenger transport.
Magnetic or optically guided bus way wouldn’t work in Winnipeg either which is under snow for about five months of the year. Because the lifetime of a diesel bus is 18 to 20 years old with a major overhaul after the first 12 and with the lifetime of rail transit vehicles between 30 and 40 years it is more prudent in terms of vehicle lifespan. Therefore Winnipeg or any other city for that matter can’t afford operating a bus way at a cost ten times more than they would be under a light rail line and not be able to….
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Your time is up. Any questions? Councillor Wyatt moves the extension of two minutes. All in favour? Contrary? Carried.
Mr. Jaworski: Why build a bus that looks like a train? Why not go the whole way and use off the shelve reliable save mature rail base technology in the first place? Building the Southwest rapid transit corridor as a bus highway with recent estimates as high as one billion dollars would be a colossal and irresponsible waste of taxpayer funds. In fact for the cost of one bus way, that is one billion dollars, Winnipeg could have one and a half or two light rail transit lines. Calgary transit themselves have said that operating costs per seat, per hour, are ninety-five cents for a 45 seat diesel bus, and fifty-nine cents for a three car hundred and sixty seat light rail vehicle. According to another article at lightrailnow.org and I’ll provide two examples. OC Transpo in Ottawa has lost over 10% of its ridership since the bus highway opened in 1983. A failed expensive system. When Pittsburgh’s west bus highway opened, estimates of 50,000 weekday passengers were declared. However only there are currently 9,000 weekday riders making it a failure. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Any questions? Seeing none. Thank you.