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Canada, Ontario Invest in Public Transit Infrastructure for Burlington’s Growing Population

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*Please see below a media release issued jointly by the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and the City of Burlington.

News release

For immediate release

Burlington, Ontario, September 8, 2020 — The safety and well-being of Canadians are top priorities of the governments of Canada and Ontario. But the COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than Canadians’ personal health; it is also having a profound impact on the economy.

That is why governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continue to look ahead to see what more can be done.

Ontarians need help getting safely to work and home, getting out to appointments, to shop and to conduct business. Strategic investments in sustainable public transportation infrastructure play a key role.

Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport) and Member of Parliament for Milton; Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington; were joined by Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; Effie J. Triantafilopoulos, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care and Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville North−Burlington; and Her Worship, Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington, to announce funding for six projects that will modernize and improve public transit in Burlington.

Public transit users will benefit from the purchase of 12 new 40-foot conventional buses to expand the fleet over the next three years. This will make public transit more efficient and convenient for riders by increasing service frequency and enabling connections between bus routes and regional transit. In addition, five new conventional buses will replace buses that have reached the end of their lifecycle, helping to maintain a reliable, high quality service.

In addition, three specialized accessible vehicles will be added to Burlington’s fleet over the next three years to support the community’s need for more accessible public transit. Devices will also be installed on traffic signals and buses to help improve the transit system’s on-time performance, while the implementation of intelligent transit system technology will enable on-demand transit service to be introduced to underserviced areas.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $5.1 million in these projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing more than $4.3 million, and the municipality is contributing more than $3.4 million.

QUOTES:

  • “Public transit is a convenient, environmentally friendly and affordable way for Canadians to get to work, visit loved ones and access the services they need. These new buses and upgraded software systems will help make public transit in Burlington more accessible and convenient for riders. Canada’s infrastructure plan not only invests in thousands of projects across the country, but it also creates jobs and builds stronger communities.” — The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
  • “Investments in public transit are critical to building healthy, sustainable communities where residents can thrive. The important projects announced today will expand the fleet and services offered to Burlington’s growing population, responding to current and future transit needs.” Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington
  • “Improved and integrated public transit systems are vital for building greener and more resilient communities. The projects announced today will improve public transit services for Burlington residents, allowing them to get where they need to go safely. These investments will benefit the community, residents, and the environment.” Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport) and Member of Parliament for Milton
  • “Today’s transit funding announcement will improve capacity, quality and more importantly accessibility of Burlington’s transit system. The provincial investment of more than $4.3 million will help to increase service frequency and enable connections between bus routes and regional transit for the residents of Burlington.” Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure
  • “The Ontario Government is investing more than $4 million today for public transit in Burlington. This means twelve new buses for transit riders, five new buses to replace older buses going out of service, and other transit improvements. More transit is good for commuters and the environment, and I am pleased that Ontario is helping to deliver Burlington transit priorities to ensure better services for Burlington residents.” Effie J. Triantafilopoulos, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care and Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville North−Burlington

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:

This funding is welcome news for our community at a time when safe and reliable public transit is more important than ever. The City of Burlington has a strong commitment to transit as an environmentally-friendly way to help our growing population work and play. Earlier this year our ridership was trending upwards from the previous year and the impact of these funds will contribute significantly to that positive momentum. I thank our Federal and Provincial partners for this timely and valued support.

QUICK FACTS: 

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • $28.7 billion of this funding is supporting public transit projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • Ontario is investing $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green, and rural and northern community infrastructure.
  • The Government of Canada has invested more than $7.9 billion in over 2,600 infrastructure projects across Ontario under the Investing in Canada plan.
  • Across the province, Ontario is investing more than $7.3 billion in public transit infrastructure over 10 years through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.
  • The COVID-19 Resilience Stream will help other orders of governments whose finances have been significantly impacted by the pandemic by increasing the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects.
  • The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will provide up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy innovative new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.

RELATED LINKS: 

CONTACTS:

Chantalle Aubertin

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

613-941-0660

chantalle.aubertin@canada.ca

 

Christine Bujold

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure

416-454-1782

christine.bujold@ontario.ca

 

Sofia Sousa-Dias

Communications Branch

Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure

437-991-3391

sofia.sousa-Dias@ontario.ca

 

Carla Marshall

Communications Advisor

City of Burlington

905-335-7600, ext. 7879

Carla.Marshall@burlington.ca

 

Media Relations

Infrastructure Canada

613-960-9251

Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Web: Infrastructure Canada

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.

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3 thoughts on “Canada, Ontario Invest in Public Transit Infrastructure for Burlington’s Growing Population”

  1. More buses, more transit? What an incredible waste of money!
    Just look around… Buses have run around empty for years in Burlington!
    Let’s see the ridership statistics for the last 5 years! Let’s see the cost per mile of transporting each person around town!

  2. I am deeply disappointed and disillusioned that Burington Council along with other levels of government that provided funding will not be investing in green EV buses, but in conventional fossil fueled buses.So much for Council’s lip service to the dangers and real documented costs posed by Climate Change.

    I’m ready to hear Council say that improved bus transit will take cars off the road – that is probably true to an extent but misses the point of the city and the federal government tackling climate change in a visible and meaningful way. Many progressive communities are replacing their aging bus fleets with EV buses. Fact: Over their lifespan, EV buses are less expensive to run and are far better for us.

    I really, really believed that this Council was different. I wish there had been more transparency and that Council would have telegraphed their thinking on this bus purchase decision to the public in advance. If there was any public input on this bus purchase, I was unaware of it.

    I feel betrayed. What was the point of Council declaring a Climate Emergency? Somebody please tell me that I’ve gotten this all wrong and I will happily post an apology.

    1. Hi Roman, this is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. Yes, the City of Burlington’s long-term plan does include electric vehicles and the purchase of the required charging stations to support them. In the meantime, Council and staff will work to improve the current system immediately — this funding will allow us to do that.

      The City’s decision not to invest in an electric system right now was based on the imminent need for improved transit. From Mayor Meed Ward: “To ensure that electric buses work and they don’t run out of gas halfway through a route, we’re making sure to have charging depots on our long-term infrastructure plan. It has not been constructed yet, but we have an urgent need to make sure our residents can get where they need to go today. So, while we’re building the plan, we’re going to make sure the system works today.”

      Speaking to staff as well, they have indicated to us that right now it really comes down. That being said, they are doing some modelling work to evaluate the benefit the City will see with using electric buses in our fleet. That work is due to be complete in the Fall and depending on the results, it may influence the City’s longer term outlook on bus technology for future purchases beyond the 3-year timeframe for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIF) funding. ICIF is a cost-shared infrastructure funding program between the federal government, provinces and territories, with the eventual recipient of the funding.

      Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600