NEWS RELEASE

October 22, 2018

For Immediate Release

Motkaluk’s Final Campaign Policy Announcements: Freezing Transit Fares & Targeted Garbage Clean-up Initiatives (Operation ‘Clean Sweep’)

Both measures are about cleaning up a mess that’s been left behind

Today – Mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk completes her campaign policy platform with 2 final commitments to Winnipeggers:

  1. Jenny will freeze Winnipeg transit fares for 4 years – on Jan. 1, 2018 bus fares in Winnipeg were hiked by $ .25, the largest jump since 2008 which Jenny refers to as “an appalling cash grab on the backs of transit riders.”
  2. Jenny commits to Operation Clean Sweep – a targeted garbage & litter clean up initiative twice per year in specifically identified areas to beautify business locales, residential neighbourhoods, back lanes and green spaces.

On Freezing Transit Fares:

The $ .25 increase to transit fares has undoubtedly had a further detrimental effect on bus ridership which was already suffering. The City budgets estimated that revenue in 2018 would drop by $ 6.36 Million over 2017 due reduced ridership but that the fare hike would claw back $ 5.68 Million of that lost revenue. Since 2008 and until 2018 transit fares had only increased $ .05 per year to cover inflation. The logic of compounding already waning bus ridership with a 5 times normal transit fare increase is highly questionable and appears to be nothing short of a cash grab.

“The Mayor saw a $ 6 Million budget shortfall due to reduced bus ridership and decided to further exacerbate the issue by dramatically hiking fares to shore up the loss. That’s an appalling cash grab on the backs of transit riders. Then he tried to blame the reduced ridership on falling gas prices which is absolute nonsense. Brian Bowman compounded an already bad situation with an even worse decision. Instead of improving transit service and making buses safer he simply chose to grab more cash from riders. Unacceptable,” states Motkaluk.

“Whether its transit fares, property taxes, frontage levies or sewer rates, Brian Bowman has been unabashedly pushing the tolerance envelope of Winnipeggers pockets to see what he can get away with.”

“And clearly, Winnipeggers have responded by saying ‘enough is enough – we are wrung out and won’t take this anymore.”

“My plan, in stark contrast, is to increase ridership by making buses safer, bolster the fleet with new electric buses and have more buses get more people to more places. And I’ll pay for it with diesel fuel savings, increased ridership and by scrapping any future BRT plans.”

“But first things first – no more cash grabs. I will freeze transit fares for 4 years. It’s time to start delivering some value back to riders,” concludes Motkaluk.

On the Targeted Garbage Clean-up Blitz Days:

Garbage, in all of its forms, is a visual and physical blight on any city but fortunately there can be a simple solution to the problem – just pick it up. As Mayor, Jenny would propose to target 2 specific areas per year and perform a single day clean up blitz that also enlists the help of volunteers, neighbourhood organizations and even businesses. The day might also include a thank you style BBQ for the “picker- uppers” and would likely enhance participation.

“It’s our city and the reality of who and what we are is often about the image we portray. So if we want to be a cleaner and greener city we have to roll up our sleeves and start by picking up the garbage and litter. It’s that simple.”

“Pride starts with a clean neighbourhood and we can all pitch in to make that happen,” says Motkaluk.

Motkaluk envisions performing the targeted clean up days in non-winter seasons and expects to budget no more than $ 45,000 per clean-up blitz (a total annual budget of no more than $ 90,000).

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Backgrounder – Transit Fares

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-budget-transit-fare-increase-1.4414350

  • The full fare cash price for a Winnipeg Transit bus ride was hiked $0.25 in 2018, a 9% increase.
  • Prior years increased $0.05 per year starting in 2008, or about 1.8 %.

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Year

Full Cash Fare Price

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2018

2.95

2017

2.70

2016

2.65

2015

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2.60

2014

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2.55

2013

2.50

2012

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2.45

2011

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2.40

2010

2.35

2009

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2.30

2008

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2.25

2007

2.00

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  • According to 2018 budget documents, the City expected bus fare revenues to rise $5.68 million resulting from the fare increase.
  • Those documents also expected a $6.36 million reduction in revenue “mainly due to lower than expected ridership.”

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From:

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Highlights:

Backgrounder – Operation ‘Clean Sweep’

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  • The cost of an annual garbage dumping amnesty that is limited in scope to an area the size of the Old North End is estimated to be between $1,250 and $37,500.
  • The cost of an annual volunteer-based litter collection service is estimated to be between $563 and $7,625 depending on the number of volunteer hours devoted to the project and their efficiency.
  • If it is assumed that two Clean Sweep events per year would not generate more garbage than having only one as in the case examples, the maximum cost would be expected to be $45,000.
  • If the two annual Clean Sweep events occurred in different parts of the city similar in size to the Old North End, the total garbage collected would likely double and the maximum cost would be expected to be $90,000.

Background:

  • The city of Estevan Saskatchewan holds an annual “Clean Sweep,” and one part of that project includes a free garbage drop-off day at their landfill.
  • This year the free garbage drop-off day brought in 114 tonnes.
  • Given that Estevan’s population of 11,000 is about 1/3rd of the population of the Old North End’s (32,000), it could be reasonable to assume a similar activity there would garner 300 tonnes.
  • Dekalb County, GA had a similar program this year that brought in 240 tonnes.
  • Given that Dekalb’s population of 750,000 is 23 times the population of the Old North

    End, it could be reasonable to assume a similar activity there might garner 10 tonnes.

  • An estimated per-tonne charge from a waste disposal supplier by the campaign was $125.
  • Disposing of 300 tonnes would cost $37,500; and disposing 10 tonnes would cost $1,250.
  • Volunteer-based ‘clean sweeps’ are commonly organized in many communities where volunteers collect and remove refuse from public property like roadsides, parks, beaches, or waterways.
  • During PITCH-IN WEEK 2012 in British Columbia, the organizers claim to have picked up 4.5 tonnes of garbage.
  • In 2011, across several states, an organized “Big Muddy Clean Sweep” removed garbage from the Missouri River and its banks gathering 61 tonnes.
  • The cost to remove 4.5 tonnes of garbage would be approximately $563; the cost to remove 61 tonnes would be approximately $7,625.