Winkler's transportation committee has recommended City Council approve its proposed implementation plan for Public Transportation for the City of Winkler.
The recommendations are based on data gathered through a comprehensive Public Transportation Feasibility study. At an open house in early November, city officials presented the findings to the community.
Through the process, Mayor Henry Siemens said they learned that Winkler is not yet ready for a type of transit bus system, but it does need something.
"What we're led to believe is that in all likelihood, what we need to do is fund a subsidized ride share of some kind or ride service of some kind," said Siemens.
Siemens said they don't know exactly what a transportation program would look like yet, whether they decide to subsidize taxis or subsidize a community group to provide those rides..
"But we do know there are people who need a way to get around," added Siemens. "Some people need support to make that work, and the City of Winkler belongs at that table somehow financially to provide the service, but also to learn from it and get the information that we need to be able to enhance and grow that service over the next several years to make sure that what we're providing is what's needed and that it's affordable."
Ultimately, Siemens said transportation will need to be a "budget line, whether it's a 2024 budget line or 2025. He said that is what they are waiting to hear now from their staff. "Are we able to put something together that will launch sometime in 2024, and if so, what budget considerations does that need to have for next year."