Governments of Canada, Ontario and city of Hamilton to fund transit and active transportation projects

July 20, 2021
The projects include a bridge replacement, transit bus fleet expansion and replacement, hardware and software upgrades, as well as bike paths and sidewalks.

The governments of Canada, Ontario and the city of Hamilton are combining their financial resources to fund C$518.8 million (US$407.06 million) in public transportation fleet and facility improvements and active transportation improvements in Hamilton.

The seven projects will replace a bridge, aid in transit fleet expansion and replacement, pay for hardware and software upgrades and construct bike paths and sidewalks.

"This funding, along with the federal government's previously announced support for Hamilton's [Light-Rail Transit] project, together represent an historic, generational investment in transit in Hamilton. This will allow us to expand transit like never before, making it faster, more affordable, more reliable and more convenient. This in turn will attract more riders than ever before, which in turn makes roads less congested and is good for the environment,” said Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger.

The government of Canada is investing over C$201.8 million (US$158.33 million) in these projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure program. The province of Ontario is providing more than C$168.2 million (US$131.97 million) and the city of Hamilton is contributing more than C$148.8 million (US$116.75 million) to these projects.

"The provincial government is committed to supporting Ontarians as we continue to fight through the COVID-19 pandemic and look towards recovery. Our C$168.2 million investment to support seven Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) projects will help Hamilton maintain and improve public transit options that will go a long way in supporting growth, create local jobs and help provide residents with the reliable and convenient transit they deserve,” said Ontario Associate Minister of Transportation Stan Cho.

The projects to be pursued with the joint funding agreement include:

  • Replacement of Birch Avenue Bridge and Associated Road Work /Construction of Salt Management Facility - Replacement of a rail bridge, the completion of associated road work and the construction of a salt management facility.
  • Dispatching and AVL Hardware and Software Replacement - Installation of new dispatch and automatic vehicle location systems on buses in the transit fleet to provide automated real-time detour and service interruption information to transit users.
  • Expansion of Transit Fleet to Support Service Growth - Purchase of up to 85 40-foot Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, which will enable the city of Hamilton to expand its fleet and increase public transit service by an additional 300,000 service hours by 2026, in accordance with the city's 10-Year Transit Strategy.
  • Construction of Active Transportation Connections – These connections include a 185-meter (202.3-yard) active transportation bridge, 1.4 kilometers (0.87 miles) of new bike paths, 420 meters (459.3 yards) of upgraded bike paths, 3.4 kilometers (2.11 miles) of new multi-use connections to transit and up to 500 new bike parking spaces (including sheltered and long-term secure parking). The project also includes 30 new bikeshare stations, repairs to existing damaged bikeshare stations and approximately 17.8 kilometers (11 miles) of new sidewalks.
  • Implement Priority Bus Measures along A-Line Corridor - Implementation of priority bus movement on the 16-kilometer (9.9-mile) A-Line rapid transit route. Work includes the construction of five new queue jump lanes, the implementation of transit signal priority measures at approximately 26 intersections, improvements to approximately 19 transit stops along the corridor and approximately 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) of new sidewalk construction along 12 different segments of rapid transit roadway to provide improved active transportation connection options to public transit users.
  • Replacement of Transit Fleet - Replacement of conventional buses in the Hamilton transit fleet. This involves the procurement of approximately 92 CNG buses to replace buses that have reached the end of their lifecycle. This will include 40-foot buses (approximately 72) and 60-foot buses (approximately 20).
  • New Maintenance and Storage Facility - Construction of a new 60,000-square-meter (645,834.6-square-foot) public transit maintenance and storage facility. The facility will include a 30-bus maintenance area, two indoor CNG fueling lanes, two bus wash rack systems, storage for 200 conventional size buses, approximately 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet) of administration space and a four-level parking structure to accommodate approximately 400 parking spaces for employees.

The province explains the projects, once completed, will contribute to the city of Hamilton's network of BLAST corridors designed to connect residents from the lower city, to the mountain, to the waterfront and the airport.

"Safe and reliable public transit systems contribute to making Canadian communities good places to live, work and raise families. The government of Canada is investing [more than] C$200 million in Hamilton's public transit system, to improve the A-Line Rapid Transit Corridor, purchase new buses, construct new bike paths and support a new storage and maintenance facility. Building on our historic investment in the Hamilton LRT, this investment will reduce commute times and help workers, students, seniors and families across Hamilton and beyond get where they need to go faster, cleaner and in affordable ways. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, tackles climate change and builds more inclusive communities," said Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction 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.