Winnipeg’s new transit plan fails to address safety: Klein

One Winnipeg city councilor is speaking out against the city’s new Master Transit Plan.

The plan, passed Thursday evening by a vote of 15-1, will redevelop the city’s transit system over the next 25 years. Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood Coun. Kevin Klein was the lone vote against the proposal.

Read more: Winnipeg’s transit master plan gets the green light from council

Klein tells Global News the plan fails to address transit safety.

“Seniors are being harassed at bus stops for change,” he said. “Last week a viral video showed passengers on a Winnipeg bus being threatened with a knife.”

It’s a problem Klein says is not going away, and the Master Transit Plan should address it.

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“Unfortunately I don’t think my colleagues understand what a strategic plan is,” he said. “This [plan] is to buy radios, pay for consultants and build a garage. It doesn’t even talk about safety.”

Read more: Winnipeg records 17th homicide after stabbing on bus, say police

Klein says council should be looking at developing a transit police force to protect both passengers and drivers.

“There are a lot of jurisdictions that have a transit police program,” he said, “and they’ve incorporated them into their current police service. There are ways to go about this.”

“It means you have to go to work and get creative, and that’s not happening at city hall right now.”

During the meeting leading up to the vote, Mayor Brian Bowman said the new master plan was a long time coming.

“Winnipeg transit has been in need of a modernization and an upgrade for decades,” Bowman said.

“Despite the best efforts of our transit staff and our public service, when I think about the transit system, I think it was really designed for our grandparents.”

–With a file from Abigail Turner

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Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Transit 25-year master plan approved by council'

1:38 Winnipeg Transit 25-year master plan approved by council

Winnipeg Transit 25-year master plan approved by council

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