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$900 million in transit funding announced for B.C.

Russell Hixson
$900 million in transit funding announced for B.C.

More than $900 million in government will flow for B.C. infrastructure projects, officials announced. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark announced that an agreement has been reached that will result in more than $900 million being invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia, and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.

The agreement includes funding design and planning for rapid transit south of the Fraser River and the Millennium Line Extension along the Broadway corridor in Vancouver.

"Canadians have asked us to reduce congestion and commute times in their cities," Trudeau said in a release. "This investment in public transit will help the people of British Columbia get home to their loved ones faster. It will also help to grow the middle class by improving business flows in municipalities while reducing environmental damage."

Officials noted that investing in public transit creates good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today.

"British Columbia is leading Canada, and as our economy continues to grow, transit infrastructure needs to keep pace," said Premier Clark. "This investment will help meet rising demand, ease congestion, lower our carbon footprint, and enhance our quality of life."

This funding is part of the first phase of Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada’s $120-billion plan to support infrastructure across the country over the next 10 years.

The first phase will provide over $10 billion in immediate investments to support public transit systems, green infrastructure projects, and social infrastructure projects. Details on Phase two of Investing in Canada will be announced over the next year.

Phase one funding provided under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund will be managed through agreements between the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments.

Under the agreement made on June 16, the Government of Canada has made its funding retroactive to April 1, 2016, so projects can proceed without delay to help ensure a productive construction season this year.

The investment announced today – $460 million from the Government of Canada’s new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, and $308 million from the Province of British Columbia – will attempt to ensure that public transit is keeping pace with the rapid growth of British Columbia.

Funding will modernize public transit systems – including the SkyTrain and SeaBus services, as well as the rapid transit and provincial bus systems – to help move people and commerce more efficiently through B.C. municipalities.

As part of the bilateral agreement with British Columbia, the following projects have been identified for funding. This represents the full allocation for the province under this new fund. Details regarding specific funding allocations will be announced at tender of each project.

Metro Vancouver TransLink Phase 1 of Investing in Canada includes:

  • The purchase of additional SkyTrain vehicles for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines
  • A new West Coast Express locomotive
  • A new SeaBus
  • Upgrades to SkyTrain stations

Design and planning for Rapid Transit South of Fraser and the Millennium Line Extension along Broadway

  • BC Transit Phase 1 of Investing in Canada includes:
  • Investments in new bus depots, maintenance yards and operations facilities, as well as in new CNG fueling stations, in communities across the province.
  • New and more efficient buses, including cleaner burning CNG-fueled buses, and new buses for handyDART service expansion.
  • New technologies to make the fleet safer for drivers and passengers and to give BC Transit and local communities’ ridership information that will make them become even more efficient.

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