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Winnipeg’s first rapid transit corridor opens

Winnipeg's first rapid transit corridor officially opened on the weekend and starts full-scale operation on Tuesday.


Osborne Station on Winnipeg's Southwest Rapid Transit Line.  Dillon Consulting was the prime consultant.
Osborne Station on Winnipeg's Southwest Rapid Transit Line. Dillon Consulting was the prime consultant.

Winnipeg’s first rapid transit corridor officially opened on the weekend and starts full-scale operation on Tuesday.

The $138-million Southwest Transitway project involves a dedicated busway that runs 3.5 kilometres from downtown Winnipeg at Queen Elizabeth Way to the southwest area of the city, ending at Jubilee Avenue and Pembina.

The exclusive right-of-way route includes a 350-metre tunnel that passes beneath seven CN railway tracks. The roadway varies between two and four lanes, and it has four access routes onto it for local buses.

Construction of the corridor began in 2008. Dillon Consulting (Dave Krahn, P.Eng., project manager) is the prime consultant. AECOM was consultant for geotechnical and some railway work, and GPP Architects designed the stations.

The line has  three stations, including the main one at Osborne Street, close to the city’s main bus hub. The stations have heated shelters and have high-tech passenger information systems.

Winnipeg has ongoing plans to upgrade its public transit system to make it more convenient and faster and thus persuade more of its 740,000 population to leave their cars at home.

 Buses on the rapid transit corridor will travel up to 80 kilometres an hour between stations on the grade-separated route. The northern part of the route parallels a CN railway line, while other sections run between Argue to the east, and Fort Rouge yards to the west.