“A constant complaint we hear from our riders is how difficult it is to get out through the back door on our Easy Access buses,” said a Transit spokesman. “We are at last pleased to be able to offer some relief to those riders.”
Filled with 100% recyclable material, the devices, called the Eco-Ram, will be made available for general sale as well as at a discount as part of the employer-sponsored Eco-Pass program.
Winnipeg Transit's new Eco-Ram
“When riders leave for work in the morning, they’ll just have an extra item to sling over their shoulders. They will be lightweight, yet effective. Our testing has shown that, with a good thrust, it can dislodge as many as three or even four stragglers standing in front of the back door and with another thrust, it can force open even the stickiest door in our fleet,” said the Transit spokesman.
“This just shows how Transit is responding to the needs of their customers. Though we introduced the Easy Access line to accommodate the 0.001% of Transit riders who found our old line troublesome, the remaining 99.999% deserve some attention once in a while. I couldn’t be happier to see the Eco-Ram introduced”, said a spokesman for Mayor Sam Katz. “It’s a tribute to Transit’s ingenuity and another reason why I’m so proud to live in this city.”
Reactions from Transit’s rider community were mixed.
“I think it’s great. I might be able to start using Transit again thanks to the Eco-Ram,” said one former Transit rider. “Since they put in that Easy Access bus, the frustration just hasn’t been worth it. I’d rather be out on my bike in -30º weather.”
“Might have to put some spikes on that thing. Wonder if they’ll start selling stun-guns to go along with it,” said a current Transit rider. “Right now, I have to ring the bell three stops ahead of time and hope that I can get off without having to walk too far back by the time I get through the mob in front of the back door.”
“We admit that it’s not a perfect solution. But when you’re an organization like ours that caters to the need of a few over the need of the many, tradeoffs like this are going to be necessary,” said the Transit spokesman.
The Eco-Rams will be on sale shortly at Transit’s Customer Service Center in Winnipeg Square and plans are in the works for additional distribution sites, such as drug stores and convenience stores.