Winnipeg's rapid transit system launches

Winnipeg's rapid transit service began operating on Sunday morning, with buses zipping down the brand-new Southwest Transitway.

Thirteen new bus routes are operating on the Transitway, a 3.7-kilometre corridor where buses can travel up to 80 kilometres an hour.

"It's beautiful. It's wonderful. It's about time," said David Cormie, who rode along some of the rapid transit lines on Sunday.

"We've been watching it for a year and a half now as it's been built, and couldn't wait for the day that it opened."

A total of 18 Winnipeg Transit routes are affected by the launch of the rapid transit system, 13 of which use all or part of the Southwest Transitway corridor.

Construction of the corridor cost about $138 million. It is the first phase of the city's rapid transit system.

Planners want to extend the corridor by six kilometres to the University of Manitoba, but there is no definite timeline for that to happen.

"I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. It's just amazing. We need more of it," Cormie said.

"I think the city is excited about it, and I think we need our mayor to get it out to the university."

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