Canada, Ontario invest in public transit infrastructure and active transportation infrastructure

July 10, 2020
New buses, paratransit vehicles and fare boxes are among the investments residents of Windsor, Tecumseh and Brantford will see.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced funding for public transit infrastructure and projects in Brantford, Windsor and Tecumseh.

The funding for four public transit projects in Brantford was announced by the Honorable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labor and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, on behalf of the Honorable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Will Bouma, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brantford-Brant, on behalf of the Honorable Laurie Scott, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure; and his Worship Kevin Davis, Mayor of Brantford.

The purchase of 21 new buses, 13 conventional and eight paratransit buses will replace the retiring fleet and offer passengers better service and reduce maintenance costs.

“Investing in modern and integrated public transit systems is vital for building greener and more resilient communities,” said the Honorable Tassi. “The projects announced will improve public transit services for Brantford residents, allowing them to get where they need to go safely. We are committed to working with our partners to build stronger, more sustainable infrastructure that will serve communities now and for years to come.”

In addition, the installation of 31 new fareboxes with smart card technology on buses will allow the city to better monitor ridership of existing routes. New bus pads and shelters will provide riders with safer, fully accessible waiting areas and important upgrades will be made to the transit maintenance facility to ensure the new fleet remains well-maintained and reliable.

“I am thrilled to be part of a government that is working collaboratively with our federal and municipal partners to announce this investment in public transit in the city of Brantford,” said Member of Parliament Bouma. “Not only will 21 new buses be purchased, we will lower maintenance costs and emissions. Upgrading equipment and fare collection technology while modernizing facility maintenance will streamline the public transit experience here in Brantford.”

By upgrading and expanding public transit systems in the city and connecting residents to the essential services they require, residents can get around their communities safely while protecting the environment.

“Better public transit systems have a clear correlation to improved economies and better opportunities for people living, working and at play in urban areas,” said Mayor Davis. “The city of Brantford is grateful for this much needed funding that is already an integral part of the city’s plans to evolve our transit system to meet the changing demands of our community’s rapidly growing population, and to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Specifically, this funding has been allocated towards replacing the city’s aging bus shelters and addressing community demand for additional shelters throughout the city.”

The government of Canada is investing more than C$5.5 million (US$4.05 million) in these projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The government of Ontario is providing more than C$4.6 million (US$3.39 million) to the projects, while the municipality is contributing more than C$3.7 million (US$2.72 million).

Additionally, funding for nine projects that will better connect Windsor residents to public transit, encourage active transportation and improve the quality of public transit system overall, as well as one multi-purpose pathway project in Tecumseh was announced by Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor─Tecumseh and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of the Honorable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Rick Nicholls, Member of Provincial Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Leamington on behalf of the Honorable Laurie Scott, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure; and his Worship Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor.

In Windsor, the purchase of 19 buses will allow the city to replace 16 buses that have exceeded their useful life, while expanding the fleet's capacity by three buses to meet system needs. Additionally, the construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks, pathways and bike lanes throughout the city will make it safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists to commute to their destinations or to directly access public transit.

“Investing in modern public transit systems that are better connected to active transportation networks is essential to building the healthy, sustainable communities of tomorrow,” said Member of Parliament Kusmierczyk. “Important upgrades to Windsor’s transit fleet, as well as improvements to bike pathways and sidewalks in both Windsor and Tecumseh, will make it easier for residents to access the services they need. These projects are great examples of working with our partners to build infrastructure that connects our communities and serves Canadians.”

In Tecumseh, the construction of a new three-kilometer (1.9-mile), multi-purpose pathway will link the Tecumseh Hamlet to the Tecumseh Transit Service, providing residents with easier access to public transit.

“This is an exciting day for transit riders in our region. On behalf of Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott, I am extremely pleased to announce that we are investing over C$10.5 million (US$7.73 million) in new projects within the Windsor and Tecumseh communities,” said Member of Provincial Parliament Nicholls. “Our government is addressing the need to further protect the safety of the people in these communities through road improvements and public transportation.”

Together, these investments will make it easier for residents to get around their community safely while facilitating active transportation.

“I’m committed to helping make our community as accessible as possible for everyone. Through strategic investments in our 2019 and 2020 capital budgets, and City Council’s unanimous vote to adopt the Transit Master Plan, we are modernizing our Transit Windsor System,” said Mayor Dilkins. “Our C$3.7 million (US$2.72 million) investment in transit fleet and infrastructure, combined with this generous financial support from our federal and provincial government partners, brings 19 new busses to our community helping us deliver on a promise to create new routes, more direct connections, extended hours, economic growth, improved customer service and a bigger, more modern fleet to better meet the needs of our growing community, while reducing the stress on our environment.”

The government of Canada is investing more than C$12.6 million (US$9.28 million) through the Public Transit Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The government of Ontario is providing more than C$10.5 million (US$7.73 million), while the city of Windsor is contributing more than C$25.1 million (US$18.48 million) and the city of Tecumseh is contributing C$580,314 (US$427,177.84).