As we celebrate the Heritage Classic, City Council should correct a major problem adversely affecting the Winnipeg hockey community. Our great Hockey City has a 6 year old major hockey facility inside Winnipeg’s boundaries that has no regular Transit service to it.
The MTS Iceplex has no regular bus service? Transit users have an unsafe 16 minute walk across the busy and often cold Perimeter Highway.
The Iceplex is used 365 days a year. It’s the Official Training Facility of the Winnipeg Jets and the Manitoba Moose. It is used by many other teams including the Winnipeg Blues of the MJHL, the Balmoral Hall Blazers, and Sledge Hockey teams.
The Iceplex is surrounded by Assiniboia Downs, Manitoba’s largest Horse Racing Complex. The Downs is a year round facility hosting trade shows and conventions. Also in the neighbourhood is Pointe West AutoPark, and there are more developments being planned.
Yet. Winnipeg Transit only services this neighbourhood during the 10 day Red River Exhibition.
On Oct. 18, 2016, an administrative report from the Assiniboia Community Committee concluded: “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 an immediate demand for Winnipeg Transit in this neighbourhood. Transit is a core city service. And, the province already heavily subsidizes Winnipeg Transit to the tune of at least $50 million annually.
City Council should correct this oversight in time for the December 23, 2016 start of the Winnipeg Jets Challenge Cup, an annual tournament held at the MTS Iceplex.