Federal government makes major investment in public transit

For the first time in decades, the federal government has made a major investment in public transit for the City of Red Deer.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi was in Red Deer earlier today to announce that over $6 million will be invested into public transit.

“Our goal is to support municipalities of all sizes and to build necessary public transit systems, as well as to invest in waste water infrastructure,” said Sohi.

This investment follows announcements made last September which included a major investment in waste water projects with Red Deer as well as public transit.

Along with the $6.6 million investment from Ottawa, the Alberta government is providing more than $11.4 million plus $4.8 million in provincial green trip funding.

This includes storage structure rehabilitation for transit action buses, bus stops accessibility upgrades, replacement of transit buses and system wide intelligent transit enhancements, bus storage facility expansion and bus wash replacement.

“These funds ultimately help us to advance our transit plan and the ability to modernize our public transit system, as well as make it more accessible. Both of those objectives would have been out of reach if not for this new money flowing through,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

These upgrades include green buses which will use compressed natural gas, reduce carbon emissions and will burn cleaner. It’s something Barb Miller, Red Deer South MLA, said is especially important to this area.

“The air quality in Red Deer is on the lower scale. Because of where we are situated everything seems to funnel into Red Deer in terms of pollution. If we have more green buses there will be more access to transportation, so there will be less vehicles on the road and less pollution,” said Miller.

Veer said upgrades to the public transit system will begin in 2017.

Sohi also discussed Ottawa’s long-term plan to invest more than $186 billion in infrastructure throughout the country.

jonathan.guignard@bprda.wpengine.com

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