Waiting for the bus on a cold winter’s day can test anyone’s patience. It may even make you reconsider taking transit all together… and we wouldn’t want that! Rest assured, below are are some handy tips to help ease your transit travel in winter.
- Anticipate Delays: Heavy snowfall and winter weather conditions can cause major delays. Especially if you are taking the bus on major routes and during prime commuting time (rush hour).Winnipeg Transit offers live schedule updates via their website, but many avid bus users prefer to rely on up-to-date apps that use GPS tracking with Winnipeg Transit. (See below)
- Use a Smartphone App for Accurate Arrival Times: One of our fav apps is called “Winnipeg Bus Live”. It is available on Google Play and iTunes. It will give you a more exact timeline for when the bus will arrive at your stop, but we still recommend you arriving around 5 mins early. There are a few other apps as well: BUSguide, TeleBUS, BUStxt, BUSwatch, BUSgadget… Check your preferred app before leaving your home or work to see if there are any delays and necessary updates.
- Go With a Buddy: Whether it’s your first time taking transit or you’re looking for some company to make the ride a little more enjoyable, GoManitoba is the place to go! GoManitoba can help you find a transit match so you have someone to ride the bus with along your route (as well as carpooling, cycling, and walking).
- Dress Warm: Wear a proper pair of boots, jacket, wind/ ski pants, gloves, hat, scarf, etc. when waiting for the bus. At times you may feel overdressed, but you’ll thank yourself on those really cold days.
- Bus Shelters: Take advantage of the bus shelters. Many of them are sealed off from the wind and have heated seats. Sometimes it can be worth walking to the nearest shelter stop instead of the closest stop so that your un-expected delays are more enjoyable.
- Move Around: If you don’t have a bus shelter at your stop, be sure to keep your body moving as you wait. This will help your body generate some extra heat.
- Seek the Warm Indoors: If the weather is extreme, you are without a bus shelter, and moving around isn’t going to cut it during long wait times, then look for somewhere nearby that you can go into to warm up, like a coffee shop or convenience store. Be sure to check live updates provided by Winnipeg Transit or your preferred app so you know when to head back to your bus stop.
- Flexible Schedule: Talk to your employer about your start and end time, and if there is possibility for it to be flexible. That way you can take the bus at optimal times and you can adjust your work day if there are delays.
- Peggo Card: Buy and register a Peggo card. You can buy your bus pass/ e-fare completely online. This way you save a trip to the store, and you can avoid counting change in the cold. You can also set your card to automatically reload, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your balance. Learn more about Peggo cards here.
- Winter Snow Plan: Did you know Winnipeg Transit has a plan in place to deal with severe winter storms or emergency situations? Find all the information you need here.
- Support Transit Infrastructure: If you’re feeling frustrated that your bus is late, don’t blame the bus driver. Instead, think about this comment from Transit director, Dave Wardrop, who has said that delays in winter are inevitable, but diamond lanes, priority traffic signals and the rapid transit corridor are all ways to keep buses on schedule. He hopes to see more of these in the future. Support groups who are lobbying our City and Province for this infrastructure.
- Bus Conditions: Be wary of the conditions inside the bus when it comes to the cold and wet weather. The floors of the bus can often become slippery with all the snow. When buses are running behind schedule, they often become a lot more packed with passengers, so be courteous of passengers who are a priority for seating. Also, don’t put your wet feet on the seats!
- Remember the Benefits: We understand it can be uncomfortable to have to wait in the cold for the bus, but remember, taking the bus has many benefits. Not only does it reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also means you don’t have to deal with plugging in, cleaning off, or driving in your freezing cold car. The bus is warm, eliminates the driving for you, and gets you right to where you need to go without the pain of parking!