Thousands of people work and play year-round in this city neighbourhood.
By Fred Morris
The MTS Ice Plex, located inside the boundaries of Winnipeg, has no regular bus service. To reach the Ice Plex, transit users have an unsafe, 16-minute walk along the busy and often cold Portage Avenue underneath the Perimeter Highway overpass. There is no sidewalk on this part of Portage Avenue.
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League showcase was held in mid-December at the Ice Plex. It attracted people from many parts of Manitoba. Tourists should be able to easily access all of Winnipeg’s tourist attractions, whether or not they own a car. This lack of transit service should be an embarrassment to the city of Winnipeg.
The Ice Plex is used 365 days a year. It is practice facility for the Jets and the Moose. It is used by many other teams, including the Winnipeg Blues of the MJHL, the Balmoral Hall Blazers, and Sledge hockey teams.
The Ice Plex is surrounded by Assiniboia Downs, Manitoba’s largest horse-racing complex. The Downs is a year-round facility hosting trade shows and conventions. Also, the Assiniboia Downs neighbourhood has a large auto mall. More developments are being planned. Winnipeg Transit only services this neighbourhood during the 10-day Red River Exhibition.
An administrative report – part of item 2, Reports and Hearings, Assiniboia Community Committee issued Oct. 18 – concludes: “Winnipeg Transit may not be able to extend service to this area for several years due to resource availability.”
REALLY? Thousands of people currently work and play in this neighbourhood year round. There is a current demand for Winnipeg Transit here.
Transit is a core city service. The province already heavily subsidizes Winnipeg Transit by at least $50 million every year. Could the province put one condition on these grants? That Winnipeg’s city council correct this oversight.