Ontario Government Investing in 16 Transit Projects in the Region of Waterloo
Priority projects will mean safer, faster, more convenient commutes
KITCHENER — Ontario is working to support municipalities and get people moving by investing up to $60.7 million for new transit infrastructure projects in the Region of Waterloo.
"This government is committed to building infrastructure that makes life better for people across Ontario," said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. "Better public transit creates stronger communities, frees more time for family and friends and ensures Ontario is open for business."
Minister Scott announced today that 16 priority transit infrastructure projects from the Region of Waterloo are being nominated under the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
"These nominated projects will help people in the Region of Waterloo spend less time commuting and more time doing the things they love with those they care about most," said Scott.
The infrastructure improvements include upgrades to about 90 bus stops, increasing bus service to Conestoga College and building the new Grand River Northfield Bus Maintenance Facility, which will allow for transit expansion to meet growing demand in the region.
The projects are now with the federal government for final funding decisions as they are reviewed for eligibility under the ICIP program. Some projects could begin as soon as fall 2019.
"We're excited to get shovels in the ground; these initiatives promise to make a real difference in people's lives," said Scott. "Now it's up to the federal government to approve them."
"Ontario is keeping its promise to build better public transit and is working with municipalities to do so," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "Expanding and improving public transit helps connect people with jobs and businesses with customers."
- Grand River Transit (GRT) provides service in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, St. Jacobs and New Hamburg. It operates more than 50 routes, covers more than 16 million kilometres every year and had a ridership of more than 19.7 million in 2017.
- The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is a $30 billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent or about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Green, 4. Community, Culture and Recreation.
- Funding is allocated to transit systems based on a municipality’s or municipalities’ share of total transit ridership in Ontario as per the 2015 Canadian Urban Transit Association Fact Book. This allocations-based funding model was set by the federal government.
- These projects are from the first intake of ICIP applications from municipalities outside the GTHA. Some project applications from this intake are still under consideration by the province. The province intends to make more announcements from this intake soon. Information on additional intakes will be released when available.
- The combined investment from the federal, provincial and local governments for the 16 Region of Waterloo transit projects forwarded under the Public Transit stream would be more than $182 million.
- The government also nominated 15 major transit projects in the City of Toronto, Region of York and City of London to the federal government for approval, as well as 144 road, bridge, air and marine infrastructure projects under the Rural and Northern stream.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of how our government is putting the people first and protecting what matters most. Transit connects people to their jobs, to their families and to their communities. This investment by our government—these projects—will mean a lot to Cambridge, North Dumfries and Waterloo Region as a whole.”
“The major transit infrastructure investments announced today will help connect families and communities across Waterloo Region. Nominating the Northfield bus facility, the region’s top priority, demonstrates that our government is listening and delivering to meet growing commuter demand in Kitchener and the townships.”
“I have witnessed first hand the importance of local transit infrastructure as can be seen by the early success of the ION LRT. Continued investment is vital to the growth of Waterloo Region, and today's announcement by Minister Scott reconfirms our government’s commitment to reliable and sustainable public transit in Cambridge, Kitchener and all of Waterloo Region.”
“The Region of Waterloo acknowledges the crucial partnership with senior levels of government. These announcements recognize local priorities and enable our community to move towards addressing the needs of our growing Region with investment by the Province.”