Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters

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Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters

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The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

The Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters (originally the Special Committee on Transportation Question) was established by Council motion in October of 1930 for the purpose of "investigating the whole question of the providing of transportation within the limits of the City of Winnipeg". A key issue was the proposed purchase of the Winnipeg Electric Company by the City, and so the series contains considerable information about the Winnipeg Electric Company and the role it played in passenger transportation. Public transportation in Winnipeg dates from 1882, when horse cars were first used. The first electric car began operating in 1892 and horse cars were discontinued in 1894. Gasoline buses were first used in 1918 and trolley buses in 1938. The Winnipeg Electric Street Railway was formed in 1892. By 1900, this company had purchased the horse car company, the Manitoba Electric and Gas Light Company and the Northwest Electric Company. By 1946, the company was operating 30 trolley buses, 215 passenger street cars and 184 motor buses in the greater Winnipeg area and employed 2,432 people, see the Annual Report, 1946 in A9 (17). See also file A9 (16) for a Transit Map of Greater Winnipeg for the winter of 1943-1944.

After protracted negotiations, the proposed purchase was abandoned and the Committee turned instead towards discussion of a new franchise agreement between the City and the Winnipeg Electric Company. A further round of negotiations regarding purchase of the company by the City began in the spring of 1945. The name of the Committee was changed by Council motion on March 6, 1939 to Special Committee on Transportation Franchise and again in June of 1944 to Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters. The file code for this special committee was A9.


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