All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems

by David A. Wyatt

Winnipeg, Manitoba

The City of Winnipeg was reconstituted 01 January 1972 as the amalgamation of twelve previous municipalities: Winnipeg, St. Boniface, Charleswood, Fort Garry, East Kildonan, North Kildonan, Old Kildonan, West Kildonan, St. Vital, St. James-Assiniboia, Transcona, and Tuxedo.

Principal System

North-West Angle Stages (19 July 1877 (one day))
omnibus Enterprise folded when passengers proved too few and street mud too deep.

H.G. McMicken Omnibuses (1881) North-West Omnibus Co. (circa 1878 - circa 1884?)
omnibus Enterprise owned by G.H. McMicken. Omnibus service connecting Winnipeg with the railway station in St. Boniface. Purchased from railway interests a rival omnibus service 02 February 1879. Started a rural tri-weekly service between Winnipeg and Selkirk 08 September 1879. (Manitoba Free Press 1879-1881, image Manitoba Historical Maps).

Winnipeg horsecar (Manitoba Historical Society) Winnipeg Street Railway Company (20 October 1882 - 11 May 1894)
street railway/light rail Incorporated 27 May 1882 (Man.) to operate in Winnipeg and the parishes of St. Boniface East and West, St. Johns, St. James, and Kildonan. Company sold to the WESR 11 May 1894. (Manitoba Historical Society photo)

Winnipeg WESR 10 street car (CWTS) Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company (27 July 1892 - 25 July 1904)
street railway/light rail Incorporated 20 April 1892 (Man.) to build and operate an electric railway in Winnipeg, St. Boniface, R.M. of Assiniboia, and parishes of St. Boniface, St. John, St. James, and Kildonan. Name changed to WER 1904. (photo: Winnipeg Transit photo archives)

Winnipeg Electric Ry Co bus on Westminster Route (Winnipeg Tribune photo archives) Winnipeg Electric Railway Company (25 July 1904 - 05 April 1924)
street railway/light rail Charter expanded to include the Municipality of St. Vital. Acquired controlling interest in the Winnipeg, Selkirk and Lake Winnipeg interurban 1906. Name changed to WECo 1924. (Photo: Winnipeg Tribune Archives). [tickets]

Winnipeg Electric Co. streetcar (Winnipeg Transit archives) Winnipeg Electric Company (05 April 1924 - 31 January 1953)
street railway/light rail trolley bus Operated bus service to Transcona 1928-1941. Absorbed SRT operations in St. James, Tuxedo, Charleswood and Assiniboia in 1940. An offer to purchase WECo was made by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board 28 October 1952 which was accepted (date?). Transit system divided from hydro-electric interests in 1953, as the GWTCo. (Manitoba Hydro website, Photos: CWTS archives, University of Manitoba archives, Dennis Cavanagh) [tickets]

WECo streetcar on Ag. College Route (University of Manitoba Archives) WECo streetcar at loop on Jubilee (Winnipeg Transit collection) WECo 111 restored by MTHA (Dennis Cavanagh 2001) WECo Ford 565 restored by MTHA (Dennis Cavanagh 2001) WECo 212 Doing Overload for Moores Taxi to West Hawk Lake 1941 (A. Downham photo, CWTS collection) WECo 408 SB Henderson at Hespeler (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 798 SB Main at Ruperstland (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo streetcar NB Main at Broadway (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 690 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 414 Ste. Anne's Road (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 300 at Main Carhouse (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 360 WB leaving Redwood Bridge (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 796 Main Street at Margaret Loop (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 384 Ste. Anne's at Hindley Loop (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo streetcars North Field (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 1935 International Model C bus (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 1926 Mack AB 25 passenger bus (Winnipeg Transit Collection) WECo 1941 Twin 30 GS bus (Winnipeg Transit Collection)

Greater Winnipeg Transit Company (01 February 1953 - 29 May 1953)
street railway/light rail trolley bus Incorporated 06 January 1953 as a subsidiary of WECo, which was controlled by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board, a provincial government agency established by legislation in 1949 and activated 18 May 1951 (Manitoba Hydro website). Sold to the GWT Comm. 1953.

Winnipeg CanCar 532 (Winnipeg Transit photo) Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission (30 May 1953 - 31 December 1960)
street railway/light rail trolley bus Multi-municipality enterprise incorporated 08 April 1953. Purchase of predecessor's assets completed 11 November 1953. Reorganized as the Transit Department of the M Corp of G.W. 1961. (photos: Winnipeg Transit, Peter Cox).

GWTC logo
system logo
Source: Mark A. Perry 2008

Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission 343 (Peter Cox) Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission 357 (Peter Cox) Winnipeg 1944 GM TG3609 gas bus (Peter Cox photo, Winnipeg Transit collection) Winnipeg 1956 GM TDH-4512 bus 104 (Winnipeg Transit) Winnipeg 1956 GM TDH-4512 bus 108 (Winnipeg Transit) Former Winnipeg GM TDH-4512 bus 105 in Red Lake junkyard (Ross Smith) GWTC streetcars (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 408 at carbarn (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 370 Main Street between Jefferson and Hartford (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 370 NB Main Street at McKay (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 424 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 374 Main Street at Margaret Loop (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 738 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 374 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 738 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 356 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 352 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) GWTC 798 at Polo Park Loop, Sep. 19, 1955 (Winnipeg Transit Collection) Winnipeg GWTC489 Ford (William A. Luke)

Winnipeg CCF-Brill trolley bus, Corydon at Kenaston (Winnipeg Transit photo) Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (01 January 1961 - 31 December 1971)
trolley bus Service to Transcona resumed 1963. Service to East St. Paul withdrawn in 1969. Metro municipalities amalgamated as the City of Winnipeg 1972. System also referred to as Metro Transit (CC66). Summer-only service to Bird's Hill Park outside the city begun 21 May 1971. (Photos: CWTS archives and Winnipeg Tribune archives, Angus McIntyre)

GWTC logo
system logo
Source: Steven Strothers 2008

Metro Transit [Winnipeg] 1674 (CCF-Brill T-44) (1968 Aug., Angus McIntyre) Winnipeg CCF-Brill trolley bus 1967 (Winnipeg Tribune photo) Winnipeg CCF-Brill trolley bus, Smith at Notre Dame (Winnipeg Tribune photo) Metro buses on Graham Avenue 1971 (Winnipeg Tribune photo)

Winnipeg MCI Classic at Polo Park Terminal (Jim Jawarski photo) City of Winnipeg Transit System (01 January 1972 - present)
Customarily referred to as Winnipeg Transit. Summer-only service to Bird's Hill Park outside the city ended 03 September 1979. Service to Headingley withdrawn 31 December 1992. From 1995 bilingual signs inside buses acknowledging provincial financial support cite la Régie des transports de Winnipeg. (CUTA 1989, CUTA 1991/2, CUTA 1992, photos Jaworski, Dennis Cavanagh and Alex Regiec)

Winnipeg CanCar bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg CanCar bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg GMC bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg Flyer bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg GMC bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg CanCar bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg Flyer D800 bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg Flyer D800 bus (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg trial of Mississauga TA60102N artic (Winnipeg Transit photo) Winnipeg trial of Mississauga TA60102N artic (Dennis Cavanagh photo) Winnipeg 1984 trolleybus plan Winnipeg buses at Osborne Junction 1999 (Alex Regiec photo) Winnipeg 689/Edmonton 989 GM new look (David Wyatt) Winnipeg New Flyer D40LF bus (Alex Regiec photo) New Flyer hydrogen-electric hybrid bus (Alex Regiec photo) Winnipeg 998 NewFlyer DE60LFR (Alex Regiec 2007) Winnipeg Transit 164 (New Flyer D40LFR) (David A. Wyatt 2011 Dec 23)

Winnipeg Transit logo
system logo
Winnipeg Transit rt (Rapid Transit) logo 2012
rt logo (2012)
Service area population600,000 (1991)
Vehicle fleet540 buses (2000)
Employees1366 (1991)
Ridership43,870,036 (2009)
Data sources:CUTA 1991/2
Winnipeg Transit Website 1999 (logo)
CTF [Aug. 2010] (ridership)

Secondary Systems

WECo/SRT Headingley streetcar 1927 (Winnipeg Transit) Suburban Rapid Transit Company (02 December 1903 - 26 October 1940)
street railway/light rail Incorporated 01 March 1902 to build and operate an electric railway from Winnipeg west on both sides of the Assiniboine River to Headingley. In 1904 powers were expanded to include the R.M. of Saint François-Xavier and Portage-la-Prairie. All operation was conducted under contract by the WESR and its successors. Control of the SRT was purchased by the WER 26 October 1905. Operated street railway lines from Winnipeg to Headingley via St. James and Assiniboia, and from Winnipeg to Charleswood via Tuxedo. Bus lines added towards the end of the franchise. Operations absorbed by WECo at the end of the SRT franchise in 1940. (Winnipeg Transit photo). [tickets]

Winnipeg Jitney Association (circa April 1915 - ?)
The "jitney craze" in Winnipeg played out in similar fashion to other Canadian cities. Jitneys first appeared in February 1915 and by April there were over 200 in service. The May 1915 figure was thought to be about 480, and June 1915 was 572. On September 14, 1915, the official count was 635. Various associations came and went quickly. CR&MW made note of the following:

West Kildonan residents organized a jitney service to Kildonan Park circa April 1917. Winnipeg City council finally banned jitneys 19 April 1918. (CR&MW 1915-1918).

Peoples Bus Service [Assiniboia] Peoples Bus Service (13 October 1920 - 1920?)
Assiniboia launched a municipal bus service to challenge the service provided by the Suburban Rapid Transit Company. While it was still operating at the end of October 1920 it's not clear how much longer it lasted. (Winnipeg Tribune 13 October 1920, 28 October 1920).

Brookside Cemetery [Winnipeg] bus (Alex Regiec) Brookside Cemetery shuttle (circa 1922 - 2005)
Beginning in the 1920's Brookside Cemetery provided seasonal transportation between the cemetery and a connection with Winnipeg's transit system on Keewatin Street. The initial schedule was mid May to the end of October, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fare was 10¢ one way. As late as 2005 a Sunday van service connected the cemetery with the transit terminal at Red River College 1 km away. Cemetery owned by the City of Winnipeg. (Brookside Cemetery: A Celebration of Life p. 15, photo Alex Regiec).

St. Vital Bus Lines (1932 - circa 1949)
Owner Harry Henteleff. Took over a single bus route from the WECo in St. Vital in 1932. Began using the name Beaver Bus Lines circa 1939 and incorporated as Beaver Bus Lines Limited 11 December 1945 (Manitoba Gazette Vol. 74, #51, Dec. 22, 1945, p. 1418). St. Vital route reabsorbed into main Winnipeg system circa 1949 (Canadian Coach 1969). Company shifted to operating suburban bus service between Winnipeg and Selkirk.

CCBL bus at Winnipeg Depot (William A. Luke) Cross-Country Bus Lines Ltd. (circa 1950s)
Suburban carrier operating between the Winnipeg bus depot and Fort Whyte (now also in Winnipeg). (Photo: William A. Luke)

Splash Dash (Summer 1992 - circa 01 July 2004 (summer seasons only))
ferry Fixed route common carrier boat service along the Red and Assiniboine rivers in central Winnipeg. Service suspended indefinitely circa 01 July 2004.

River Spirit (01 July 2006 - circa 2011, 09 July 2016 - present (summer seasons only))
ferry Resumption of boat-bus service previously called Splash Dash. Did not operate 2007 or 2010.

Domo Double Decker [Winnipeg] RML2643 Routemaster (David A. Wyatt 2013 June 30) Domo Double Decker (29 June 2013 - 2014 (summer seasons))
Shuttle bus service in Assiniboine Park, operated daily from Canada Day to Labour Day, and on Saturdays and Sundays from Labour Day to Thanksgiving. Operated by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy using a donated Routemaster double decker bus. Service relaunched in 2015 under a slightly different name. (website 2013, photo: David A. Wyatt).

Domo Shuttle (2015 - present (summer seasons))
Navette Domo. Shuttle bus service in Assiniboine Park, operated daily from Canada Day to Labour Day, and on Saturdays and Sundays from Labour Day to Thanksgiving. Operated for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy by contractor Winnipeg Trolley Company.


St. Boniface ferry 1882 (flickr/UManitoba Archives) ferryPrior to the construction of bridges Winnipeg and St. Boniface were connected by various private ferry operators. (photo: flickr/University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections).
Between 01 September 1998 and April 2009 (annually September to April) The University of Manitoba operated the U of M Shuttle between the institution's Bannatyne campus in central Winnipeg and the Fort Garry campus in the south end of the city. No fares were charged and no intermediate stops were made. Access is restricted to University staff and students so the service is technically “in-house” and not public transit. Operated under contract by Vital Transit Services Ltd.

Transcona Systems

Touring car used by Miranda's bus service Mr. Miranda (1912 - ?)
Semi-scheduled automobile (jitney) service between Transcona and Winnipeg. (Transcona 50th, photo: Transcona 25th)

W.F. Lange (1922 - October 1924)
Initial bus service between Winnipeg and Transcona. Incorporated 1924 as the TTC. (Bradley)

Mr. Thompson (? - October 1924)
Operation absorbed by the TTC (Winnipeg Tribune, 30 Jun. 1967).

Transcona Transportation Company (October 1924 - 16 November 1925)
Operation owned by W.F. Lange. Taken over by IS. (Bradley)

The bus to Transcona 1926 (Winnipeg Transit collection) Interurban Services, Ltd (16 November 1925 - 12 January 1928)
Incorporated 02 November 1925 (Man.) and took over TTCo two weeks later. Affiliate of the Winnipeg Electric Company (Winnipeg city system). Initial operation by four buses. Went out of business after an accident in downtown Winnipeg. Transcona bus route absorbed by parent company. (Bradley, CR&MW Nov. 1926, p. 607, photo: Winnipeg Transit)

WECo Twin model 40 on Transcona Route (Winnipeg Transit) Winnipeg Electric Company (12 January 1928 - 01 May 1941)
Winnipeg city system. Competed with WRBL 1933 - 1941. Service to Transcona curtailed at the direction of the Dominion Transit Controller. (Bradley, Transcona 75th, photo: Winnipeg Transit)

White Ribbon Bus Lines (11 November 1933 - 29 December 1941)
Operation of former WECo bus driver William Dunn. Incorporated 1941.

WRBL bus 1954 (Winnipeg Tribune Archives) White Ribbon Bus Lines Ltd. (29 December 1941 - 1959)
William Case Dunn and others incorporated by Manitoba letters patent (Manitoba Gazette Vol. 71, #1, Jan. 03, 1942, p. 1). Sold to Thiessen Bus Lines in 1959. (Photos Winnipeg Tribune Archives, William A. Luke)

White Ribbon Bus Lines logo
company logo
Data source: William A. Luke/Alex Regiec

White Ribbon Bus Lines 34 GM old look at Portage and Main (William A. Luke)

Transcona Bus Lines New Look at Transcona garage 1961 Transcona Bus Lines Ltd. (1959 - 31 December 1962)
Owned by Thiessen Bus Lines which later became Grey Goose Bus Lines Ltd. 1961 advertisement proclaimed “Serving Transcona Since 1927.” Service and operation assumed by Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Winnipeg city system) 01 January 1963. (Canadian Coach 1966, Transcona 50th, Transcona 75th, Bus Ride, November 1989, photos: Peter Cox, author's collection).

Transcona Bus Lines 38 (GM TDH-5301N) (Peter Cox 1961)


CNR 500 ran commuter trips Winnipeg - Transcona 1920-1921 (oldtimetrains) commuter rail Canadian National Railways and predecessor Canadian Northern Railway Company operated local rail passenger service between Transcona and Winnipeg for many years. Canadian Northern Railway operated frequent gas-electric car service on the route in 1921 (Clegg, p. 7). In 1930 the schedule was 10 round trips/day (5/day on Sundays) operated by self-propelled battery cars (CR&MW Dec. 1930, p. 767, Martin). CNR "workmen's trains" discontinued 14 March 1960 (Winnipeg Transit documentation). (photo: Old Time Trains).

failed street railway Several attempts were made to extend electric street railway service from Winnipeg to Transcona. The Winnipeg Electric Railway Company was building a line in the summer of 1914 when the rails for it were requisitioned for the war effort and construction stopped (Baker, p. 55). A Dominion incorporation to be called Winnipeg Interurban Ry Co. was proposed in 1915, and a Manitoba company to be named Transcona Electric Ry. was proposed in 1917. Both incorporations were rejected (CR&MW Oct. 1915 p. 404, Feb. 1917 p. 73, and May 1917 p. 203).


Omnibus19 July 1877 (one day)
Animal railway20 October 1882 - June 1894
Electric railway27 January 1891 - 18 September 1955*
Motor bus01 May 1918 - present
Motor bus busway08 April 2012† - present
Trolley coach21 November 1938 - 30 October 1970
* Formal closing ceremonies held 19 September 1955 (RFC).
† Free rides offered to the public 05 April 2012.

Miscellaneous Lines

The Winnipeg Electric Company also owned two short rural railways. Both were built in conjunction with hydro-electric generating stations and both handled passenger traffic with self-propelled rail buses.

Winnipeg River Railway railbus P.M.3 (CR&MW) Winnipeg River Railway Company (1923 - 1935)
Incorporated 24 March 1911 (Man.) by WERCo interests. Manitoba Power Company, Ltd. incorporated 1920 to assume assets and operations of the WRRCo and the Winnipeg River Power Company. Line from Lac du Bonnet to Great Falls (25 km) opened 1923 (Andreae 1997). MPCo and Winnipeg Electric Railway Company amalgamated to form WECo 1924. WRR leased to Canadian Pacific Railway Company 1935 and sold to them 1938 (Andreae 1997).

Winnipeg River Railway P.M.5 (Mack AS) (Mark Perry coll.)

Manitoba Eastern Ry P.M.6 Mack AS railbus Manitoba Eastern Railway Co. (1928 - circa 1954?)
Line from Whitemouth to Seven Sisters Falls (19 km) opened 1928 (Andreae 1997). Line still operating in 1949.


Copyright ©1989-2022 David A. Wyatt. All Rights Reserved.
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This page last modified: Tuesday, 17-May-2022 22:49:22 CDT