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Ouellette Would Scrap BRT for Light Rail

September 5, 2014 11:28 AM | News

Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (HANDOUT)

Mayoral hopeful Robert-Falcon Ouellette wants to scrap bus rapid transit and move freight rail traffic out of the city of Winnipeg if elected.

The university professor said the city should stop pouring money into BRT and cancel the $600 million project. He said he would improve transit city-wide by funding a plan to move railyards and freight rail out of the city, vacating rail lines as the basis of a light rail transit (LRT) system.

“When it comes to spending money on infrastructure to get around rail traffic, the City of Winnipeg is approaching a tipping point,” said Ouellette. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘When does it make more sense to just move the trains instead?’ It’s time for a long-term solution to a very long-term problem.”

Ouellette said the “under-used” rail line along Pembina Highway could readily be converted to LRT with a station at St. Norbert, and stations to serve the U of M and Investors Group Field.

That same line is considered to be a crucial route for CN, which transports goods to and from the U.S. using the suggested Pembina route.

Ouellette said a feasibility study on moving the CPR railyards and other heavy rail traffic out of the city would cost approximately $1.5 million.