*E-SCOOTER RENTAL COMPANY PLANS ALBERTA LAUNCH *
CALGARY — A company backed by Toronto Raptors founder John Bitove says it
will bring e-scooter rentals to Calgary and Edmonton in early July.
Newly founded Bird Canada says Alberta will be the launching point for its
line of dockless electric-powered scooters, but it plans to expand to
eventually offer scootersharing and other “commuter solutions” across the
country. The company says Kelowna, B.C., is likely to be the next city to
see its products.
Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons says it negotiated the exclusive licence to
offer device-sharing services in Canada from California-based Bird, which
was founded in 2017 and has grown to operate in 120 cities, mainly in North
America and Europe.
Lyons says the company decided to come to Alberta first because it
anticipates that exceptions to provincial regulations requested by the
cities of Calgary and Edmonton will be granted soon, thus allowing the
e-scooters to be operated on public roads.
He says customers will be able to use the machines at a cost of $1.15 to
start and 35 cents a minute after, a rate which he says makes the service
competitive with public transit. The company expects to put between 500 and
1,000 e-scooters in each city.
The devices have attracted complaints in some cities of littering sidewalks
and being tossed in streams, but Lyons says his firm is committed to have
enough staff to track and return wayward e-scooters.
— The Canadian Press
*Un message en français suivra.*
Thank you to all those who have provided input and perspectives on the low
income transit pass program so far. Your feedback has been invaluable in
identifying areas in need of greater focus.
Since we last met, Council approved the low income transit pass. Once
implemented in spring 2020, eligible adults will be able to purchase a
monthly transit pass at a 30 percent discount.
We are currently seeking your feedback on the implementation of a low
income transit pass, including criteria for eligibility to improve the
success of the program. Please complete the survey *before July 10* and
share with your networks and community partners.
Complete the survey now <https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/52Y925J>.
A report on stakeholder feedback will be included with a report to Council
on the program’s proposed implementation in fall 2019.
Once the low income transit pass is introduced, we will be consulting with
those who are using it to gather their feedback and improve implementation
over time. Focus groups and interviews will be held to determine the lived
experience of those using the low income transit pass and how the program
could be improved.
Information on the low income transit pass is available online at
If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a meeting to
discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me at
Merci à toutes les personnes ayant fait part de leurs commentaires et
points de vue sur le programme de laissez-passer d’autobus pour personnes à
faible revenu. Vos rétroactions sont essentielles pour déterminer les
domaines ayant besoin de davantage de travail.
Depuis notre dernière rencontre, le Conseil a approuvé le laissez-passer
d’autobus pour personnes à faible revenu. Une fois le programme mis en
œuvre en 2020, les adultes admissibles pourront acheter un laissez-passer
d’autobus mensuel en jouissant d’une réduction de 30 %.
Nous vous demandons vos rétroactions pour la mise en œuvre d’un
laissez-passer d’autobus pour personnes à faible revenu, notamment en ce
qui concerne les critères d’admissibilité, et ce, pour améliorer la
réussite du programme. Veuillez remplir le sondage *avant le 10 juillet* et
le faire suivre à vos réseaux et à vos partenaires communautaires.
Répondre au sondage maintenant <https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5C269WW>.
Un rapport sur les rétroactions des parties prenantes sera inclus aux côtés
d’un rapport soumis au Conseil concernant la mise en œuvre proposée à
Une fois le laissez-passer d’autobus pour personnes à faible revenu
présenté, nous consulterons les personnes qui s’en servent pour recueillir
leurs rétroactions et améliorer la mise en œuvre au fil du temps. Des
groupes de consultation et des entrevues seront organisés pour déterminer
l’expérience des personnes à faible revenu utilisant le laissez-passer
ainsi que les façons d’améliorer le programme.
Vous trouverez des renseignements sur le laissez-passer d’autobus pour
personnes à faible revenu en ligne à
Si vous avez des questions ou si vous souhaitez prendre un rendez-vous pour
en discuter davantage, n’hésitez pas à m’écrire à
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*Drive to lower speed limits hits bump*
THERE appears to be growing support in favour of reducing the speed limit
on all Winnipeg residential streets to 30 km/h.
Six groups and individuals attended a public works committee meeting
Tuesday, calling on city hall to follow the example of hundreds of cities
across Europe that have already made the move.
“We envision a city where all children and youth have the opportunity to
walk, bike or roll to school safely and, at times, independently,” Denae
Penner of the Green Action Centre told councillors. “The streets in
Winnipeg are unsafe for children to travel to school or to their friends’
houses or other activities because of high speeds (and) high volumes of
cars on those roads.”
The speed limit for the city’s residential areas is 50 km/h, unless
Penner and others — including representatives of the Winnipeg Trails
Association, Safe Speeds Winnipeg and Bike Winnipeg — urged the committee
to dramatically alter the city’s streetscape with lower speed limits,
accompanied with road alterations to encourage slower speeds, including
narrowing roadways, adding more bike lanes and a switch to angle parking.
The presentations were prompted by a proposed bylaw the administration has
drafted in response to the Pallister government’s decision to allow all
Manitoba municipalities to set their own speed limits — a function which
had previously required the approval of the Highway Traffic Board.
City staff have proposed maintaining all current speed limits, as they were
March 1. The new bylaw, once approved by city council, will take effect
David Patman, City of Winnipeg transportation manager, said the
administration will later develop a process for speed-limit change requests.
The committee Tuesday voted 3-1 to support the proposed new bylaw. Coun.
Vivian Santos, the lone dissenting vote, urged the others to lower the
speed limit to 40 km/h on residential streets.
“Look at the pedestrians and cyclists who are dying. We need to do
something now,” Santos later told reporters.
Coun. Matt Allard, chairman of the committee, said while he recognized the
growing support for a lower speed limit, he said it wouldn’t be fair for
the committee to impose it without consulting other councillors and the
community — and allowing those in opposition to speak on the issue.
The presentations Tuesday appear in stark contrast to a Probe Research
study from mid-October 2018, which found nearly two-thirds of Winnipeggers
it polled were opposed to a lower speed limit.
Patman said a move to 30 km/h would be expected to encounter resistance
from many motorists and would require increased police enforcement. He
suggested a pilot study be conducted, with one neighbourhood chosen to
study the public response and implementation issues.
Santos countered a pilot study was unnecessary, arguing Winnipeggers have
become accustomed to lower speeds as a result of the 30 km/h limit in
*City looking at rerouting active transportation during construction
City guidelines will be updated early next year to consider how best to
address active transportation routes, when construction projects interrupt
Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface), who chairs council’s public works
committee, moved a successful motion Tuesday that calls to update a civic
construction manual with considerations around the interruption of AT
“The issue of AT is, if you do close a street, you are closing a much
bigger section of the network than you would be in the case of vehicle
traffic where you can just go to the next street, in some cases you might
have to take a significant (AT) detour if you’re staying on the network,”
The updates are expected to return to council’s public works committee in
Interest in AT strong in East St. Paul
North of the Perimeter, the RM of East St. Paul is also home to a network
of paved and unpaved active transportation pathways that continues to grow.
“Anytime we have development coming forward, we’re always looking for that
connectivity,” mayor Shelley Hart said. “We continue to upgrade our trail
The TransCanada Trail runs through the RM, and a paved AT path runs
parallel to Hoddinott Road from Henderson Highway to Birds Hill.
“That path gets a ton of use,” Hart said, adding that lights were recently
added along the route.
Currently, Hart said the municipal council is looking to pave the path that
would connect Hoddinott to the Northeast Pioneers Greenway.
“There’s a lot of room there,” Hart said. “We’re looking to turn it into a
linear park, with places for people to stop and be engaged in different
While Hart could not specify a date of completion for the project, she did
say that council is eager to see it move along.
“I’d like to see some progress this year. We’re just looking at costs and
possibilities for funding to allow us to do more sooner.”
Room to improve on strong cycling foundation Northeast Winnipeg’s cycling
infrastructure: the good, the bad, the ugly
They say that "if you build it, they will come." But how do you get there
in the first place?
For Bike to Work Day on June 17, Transcona city councillor Shawn Nason
cycled the 14 kilometres from his home in the Park City to City Hall at the
urging of Robb Massey.
"I survived," Nason said with a smile on the steps of 555 Main St. "I’m
probably 15 to 20 years removed from being an active cyclist. This was fun.
It’s rejuvenating. I’m arriving here at a reasonable hour, and reasonably
awake. We’ll see how I’m doing around three o’clock when I have to start
thinking about the ride home."
Massey, a cycling advocate who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent
Elmwood-East Kildonan councillor Jason Schreyer in the civic election last
year, reached out to Nason as a means of highlighting how inconsistent
cycling infrastructure is in northeast Winnipeg is.
"It was a nice ride," said Massey, whose daughters Olivia and Sinéad joined
the ride on their way to school. "We didn’t see too many cyclists out
there, which I think speaks to some of the challenges we have riding from
the northeast to downtown."
The wide, tree-lined avenues in northeast Winnipeg are inviting to
cyclists. The area is also home to an array of active transportation
projects and pathways — from the Disraeli Active Transportation Bridge to
the Transcona Trail — that residents and City staff alike can look to with
pride. But getting from one route to another safely can be challenging.
That lack of connection is a constant complaint among cycling advocates and
enthusiasts. Nason acknowledged as much.
"It was a fairly disjointed ride," Nason admitted. "We saw the greater part
of Elmwood-EK to get here, but overall it felt fairly safe."
The Northeast Pioneers Greenway, which runs parallel to Gateway and Raleigh
from Talbot Avenue in Elmwood north to East St. Paul, provides a sheltered,
scenic thoroughfare for cyclists and pedestrians. The 6.5-kilometre paved
pathway is a former CPR rail line and is often touted as a successful
example of active transportation infrastructure.
"The Greenway is wonderful," said Emma Durand-Wood, a member of the Glenelm
Neighbourhood Association who joined Massey and Nason on their ride in
Elmwood. "But the problem is there’s not a lot to get to on the Greenway.
It’s a great way to get to Superstore, or the park way up north. It’s a
great piece of cycling infrastructure, but it doesn’t get us to the
library, or the drug store, or Sobeys."
While the Greenway does connect to a number of east-west on-street routes
that the City’s Public Works department lists as low- to medium-stress
routes for cyclists, there are some outstanding issues, particularly in
connecting to AT paths in St. Boniface to the south.
"Finishing some of those connections aren’t necessarily huge capital costs,
but they’re important," Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) admitted.
"Those small improvements would go a long way."
Coun. Schreyer agreed, adding that he believes that repurposing the aging
Louise Bridge as an active transportation bridge is an idea that council
should at least consider.
"Sooner or later they’ve got to deal with it," he said.
The Chief Peguis Trail in North Kildonan runs east from Main Street over
the Kildonan Settlers Bridge to Lagimodière Boulevard, connecting to the
Northeast Pioneers Greenway and the Bunn’s Creek Trail at Gateway Road. The
extension of the Chief Peguis Trail west to McPhillips includes a major
active transportation link to northwest Winnipeg.
Transcona, meanwhile, is home to over 22 kilometres of paved active
transportation trails, many more limestone neighbourhood trails, and a
number of low- to medium-stress street routes for cyclists.
"We have a lot of multi-purpose trails, we’re very fortunate," said Val
Cousineau, president of the Transcona Trails Association. "Because so much
new development is happening now we have a chance to get a really amazing
system in there."
"We have a lot of new subdivisions, especially in Transcona, where it’s
part of the development agreement that AT is built in," Nason explained.
While designated active transit pathways like the Transcona Trail and the
Northeast Pioneers Greenway offer ideal conditions for cyclists, the
reality is most cyclists need to use city streets to get where they’re
"When people don’t feel safe on the roads, or when motorists feel squeezed
or frustrated, that creates challenges," Massey said.
Sometimes, the streets the City has designated as a bike route don’t make
sense to commuters, Massey argued.
"We’ve designated Roch (Street) as a bike route, but it’s not connected,"
he said by way of example. Instead, commuters favour Brazier Street.
Wayfinding signage directing cyclists to AT pathways and designated on
street bike routes is an issue Cousineau and Nason would like to see
"I think what City needs to do now is wayfinding for cyclists," Cousineau
said. "There should be safe cycling routes throughout the city."
Durand-Wood and her husband have three children between the ages of two and
nine years old. They recently sold their car and rely on public
transportation, cycling, or walking to get around.
"We tend to try to find routes that allow for the adults to ride on a
low-traffic street and the kids to ride on the sidewalk, which is doable,"
Durand-Wood said. "But the crossing at the major streets like Henderson and
Johnson are very scary."
Durand-Wood said she would like to see more separated bike lanes on major
streets, or at least have active transportation considered when major
streets like Johnson and Munroe are up for renewal.
"If it’s not safe enough for me to ride with my children, it’s not that
safe," she said. "I don’t really foresee being able to increase the amount
of cycling until that happens."
"There are all sorts of little things that don’t have to cost a lot of
money that would make people safer," Massey suggested. "Like painting green
lines through the intersections, cars would be aware that there could be
"Having protected, designated bike lanes on some of our major streets would
be well supported," Nason said "(But) these are all projects that take
considerable capital. It has to be a priority of council and the budget
working group, of which I am currently not a part of. In the meantime,
hopefully they’ll see the way and continue to improve our cycling network."
Although Transcona boasts a series of active transportation paths that
would be the envy of many neighbourhoods in the city, getting out of the
Park City itself can be difficult — if not downright daunting — for
"There are short gaps in cycling infrastructure throughout the city, but
they’re key gaps," Cousineau said. "It’s those little key links between
communities that are so important."
"We have to make sure that these ATs are connected to something," Nason
added. "We have to find a way there."
Lagimodière Boulevard separates Transcona from the rest of the city, as do
the CN rail line that runs parallel to Regent/Nairn Avenue in the south and
the CPR, which cuts southwest from Gunn Road to Panet Road. As a result,
opportunities for safe, low-stress cycling routes are limited.
"We’re advocating to complete the Transcona Trail, over to Panet and
Mission," Cousineau said. "That’s a high priority for us. Those links to
Elmwood and East Kildonan are important."
According to Nason, an AT connection along that route had been included in
an early draft budget for 2019, but was cut.
"I’ve asked (council) to go back, to see if there’s a way we can do it, to
find a separated bike path," Nason said.
"I have patience for the system on this," Schreyer said regarding
connecting Transcona to East Kildonan. "It’s not simple, but it’s not off
the agenda. Those routes are being developed fairly, I believe."
The Chief Peguis Trail and AT paths in and around Kilcona Park are
separated only by Lagimodière. Though controlled, the intersection is
listed by the City’s Public Works department as an area of caution. Browaty
said that while a better connection between the Chief Peguis Trail and
Kilcona Park has been discussed over the years, it was not a high priority
"There are a number of things in Kilcona Park that need improvement first,"
he said. "But it would be nice."
A higher priority for Browaty is improving or adding sidewalks on routes
like DeVries Avenue or Henderson Highway north of Chief Peguis.
"It’s not easy to add active transportation on Henderson," Browaty added.
"The saving grace is there are some parallel routes that have had some
active transportation additions to them."
"Sidewalks are 90 per cent of the active transportation system," Schreyer
added. "If we’re serious about active transportation, we have to maintain
our sidewalks in the winter time."
*Community journalist — The Herald*
Sheldon Birnie is the community journalist for The Herald Email him at
sheldon.birnie(a)canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7112
*8 Winnipeg libraries to get outdoor bike repair stations*
City issues tender to build stations at city libraries
Winnipeggers may soon be able to find a book and fix up their bike in the
The city has issued a request for tenders to install bike repair stations —
each complete with a bike rack, repair stand, pump and basic
tools — outside eight libraries across Winnipeg.
Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg calls the move a step in
the right direction.
"It's a way to create an easy and accessible way for people to do quick
repairs on the bikes," he said.
"It's something where, if you don't have access to those tools … it'll make
a big difference being able to go to the library, put your bike up, and get
The libraries which will see the outdoor stations built include the
Henderson, Harvey Smith (West End), Charleswood, Fort Garry, St.
James-Assiniboia, Sir William Stephenson and Osborne branches.
The city already has 13 bike repair stations scattered throughout Winnipeg,
including one recently opened at City Hall.
'Bicycles are power machines'
Patrick Krawec, managing director at the WRENCH, a charity that breathes
new life into old bikes and teaches people how to fix them, says he's glad
to see more stations being added.
"The city supporting infrastructure for bicycles and programming,
especially at a place where people really connect, like libraries, shows
that the city realizes that a prosperous city needs bicycles — that
bicycles are power machines to generate health, wealth and happiness," he
"To bring people together with bicycles in a community setting — any step
in that direction is a good thing."
But, as well as providing space to fix bikes, Krawec said he'd also like to
the city run programming around the importance of cycling and bicycle
He says he's heard of tools from the other stands being stolen, and then
used to steal bikes.
"I think it would be good to have some other programming tied to (the
stations), especially explaining them to people so people value them," he
"I think sometimes they might get vandalized, or misused, because people
don't realize what a resource it is.
"A tool is an inanimate object, a human will help you connect over that
The deadline for submissions to build the stands is June 27 and a city
spokesperson said the work is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019
or spring of 2020.
The cost of the project won't be known until the bids are chosen, the
*Montreal's suburban drivers will pay more for car registration to boost
Suburban motorists will have to pay $50 more a year for their car's
registration as officials look for new ways to fund public transit.
Montrealers already pay the extra fee, but the Montreal Metropolitan
Community (CMM) approved a measure Thursday that will require drivers in
the surrounding suburbs to pay it as well.
This new price hike will generate an estimated $100 million a year to
support bus, train and Metro services.
"We are talking about $1 a week," said Laval Mayor Marc Demers before the
CMM approved the increase.
"We are talking about a tax that aims to alleviate traffic congestion,
improve public transit and, of course, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and improve the quality of air."
Only Boucherville Mayor Jean Martel voted against the fee increase, which
will come into effect in 2021.
"People want an improvement in public transit and we must find a way to
finance this," said Demers.
Most municipal financing comes from property taxes, but authorities must
diversify funding sources, he said.
While most officials might think it's a good idea, not everybody on the
South Shore agrees.
Mary Ward said she already pays higher fares for public transportation as a
resident of Longueuil and costs are so high, young people can't even afford
to use the service.
"I think it's awful," said Ward of the proposed fee. "I'm totally against
it. I don't think it should be done at all."
Plante backs plan to tax suburban drivers
On Wednesday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante defended the level of
investment the city is making in public and active transportation.
"At the CMM, we are 82 municipalities and each has different realities,"
While issues between those municipalities differ, the fact remains that the
"CMM must make firm commitments and position itself" when it comes to
funding public transit.
At the same time, she said both the provincial and federal governments must
loosen the purse strings and "invest heavily" in public transit.
Her administration wants "clear commitments" from the higher levels of
Chantal Rouleau, junior transport minister and minister for Montreal, has
said she is not in favour of additional taxation on suburban motorists to
better fund public transit systems.
Legally, however, the Coalition Avenir Québec does not have the power to
prevent the CMM from imposing an increase.