Winnipeg’s Transit Plus system, formerly known as Handi Transit, has substantially increased its service area.
Starting January 1, Transit Plus will be able to go anywhere in the city. Previously, the service was only allowed to go within 500 metres of a bus route.
The change means that locations like Fort Whyte are now accessible by Transit Plus and that residents who live outside the 500-metre distance can now get service at their homes.
The City of Winnipeg said the new policy is very important to the entire south of the perimeter area in St. Vital. The roughly 600 homes outside of the perimeter but inside the city boundary are now eligible for Transit Plus for the first time.
“I am pleased to finally extend Transit Plus to an entire area of the City of Winnipeg that has always been left out,” said Area Councillor Markus Chambers in a news release.
“Under the old ward boundaries, I represented south of perimeter and I remember a resident complaining about this gap in service back in 2012. It’s taken eight years, but we have finally put things right,” Councillor Brian Mayes went on to add.
The city said the annual cost to expand the service is estimated at $396,000, with funding approved back in March as part of the city’s multi-year budget.
According to the city, there are about 13,000 residents whose homes are outside of the 500-metre zone. It estimates 143 of these residents will access the service.
With the new changes, the city is expecting about 10,400 additional trips will be taken.