Winnipeg Transit expands bus safety pilot program to include all buses

June 4, 2024
Launched in 2021, the pilot live streams bus camera feeds into Winnipeg Transit’s Control Center in emergency situations.

Winnipeg Transit has expanded its pilot program that live streams bus camera feeds into Winnipeg Transit’s Control Center in emergency situations to include all 607 buses in the agency’s fleet.  

“Extending live video feeds to all [Winnipeg] Transit buses is a smart step forward to help ensure the safety of passengers and drivers,” said Mayor of Winnipeg Scott Gillingham. “It also complements other recent efforts like the launch of the Community Safety Team to patrol on buses and around transit stops, the installation of improved driver protection shields and the modernization of the on-board communications system.” 

“The safety of our bus operators and our passengers is paramount,” said Janice Lukes, chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Public Works. “That’s why I’m thrilled to see this important initiative expanded to all buses in our fleet, allowing {Winnipeg] Transit’s Control Center personnel to immediately tap into the live camera feed from any bus to assess the situation and dispatch the appropriate emergency services.” 

Winnipeg Transit notes bus operators are trained to immediately contact the control center in emergencies. The center is staffed by Winnipeg Transit supervisors 24/7. 

The agency began installing LTE modems on buses in 2019 as part of its commitment to updating the technology and technical capabilities of its fleet. The safety initiative involves the use of existing LTE modem technology on buses, which allows the bus cameras to connect to the Winnipeg Transit Control Center in real time in emergency situations. The agency says the initiative did not require the installation of any additional equipment. 

The initial recommendation for the live camera feed pilot project was made by the Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) in 2021. The TAC consists of a bus operator representative, and representatives from Winnipeg Transit management, the Winnipeg Police Service, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers, the Winnipeg Committee for Safety, Functional Transit and is chaired by Lukes.