Barrie, Orillia and Midland get provincial funding boost for transit projects

Aug. 23, 2019
The funds will be used to help purchase 61 new transit vehicles among other transit improvements.

The province of Ontario will invest nearly C$20 million (US$15 million) in 11 new transit projects in Barrie, Orillia and Midland that will help purchase new vehicles, build new facilities and improve rider experience.

The funding comes from the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a 10-year, C$30 billion (US$22.5 billion) fund to help municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure. The ICIP is funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. The 11 projects slated for funding are undergoing review by the Canadian government to ensure they are eligible under the ICIP program. The province anticipates some of the projects could begin as soon as fall 2019.

"Our government is making historic investments in infrastructure to make life easier and get people moving," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. "When we build better transit in communities across Ontario like Barrie, Orillia and Midland, it boosts the local economy and municipalities can see increasing revenues that they can reinvest in frontline community services and programs. It's a win-win for everyone."

Orillia should see C$5.4 million (US$4 million) that will go toward four projects including a new transit terminal, seven replacement buses, 30 accessible bus shelters, a new fare system, security cameras and bike racks on 13 buses.

Midland’s provincial investment will be C$275,000 (US$206,510) and will be applied toward the replacement of three buses and for a new bus system to optimize ride scheduling and allow for greater accuracy in vehicle tracking.

"This funding is about more than just concrete and steel," said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. "Projects like these, and Midland's better bus tracking technology, will make commuting by bus more convenient than ever before."

Barrie will see an investment of C$13.6 million (US$10.21 million) for five projects including the replacement of 30 buses and 21 paratransit vehicles and a new Allandale Mobility Hub terminal with a GO Transit connection. Transit infrastructure improvements slated for Barrie include 16 heated shelters, 100 bike racks, 750 new signs for bus stops, 135 shelters and two new lay-by lane bus stops at the downtown transit hub to accommodate six buses at one time.

"Ontario is ready to get shovels in the ground and get people moving," said Laurie Scott, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure. "These transit projects will make a real difference in people's lives, helping them spend less time commuting to work and home and more time doing the things they love with the people they care about."

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.