Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Chatham-Kent receives public transit boost

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is receiving Federal and Provincial funding to boost their public transit system.

Provincial officials say Chatham-Kent public transit will add 10 new transit vehicles to expand service levels and will upgrade its systems to include real-time location technology and new fare system technology.

Additionally, upgrades to Chatham-Kent’s main bus terminal and the installation of six solar powered bus shelters will further accommodate transit riders and advance the municipality’s commitment to the environment, Provincial officials say.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks and Member of Provincial Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; and his Worship Joe Preston, Mayor of the City of St. Thomas, announced the funding on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 for the project, along with 10 others, all focused on modernizing and improving transit around Southwestern Ontario.

“Chatham-Kent is committed to developing a transit system that is safe, affordable, reliable and accessible and this funding is essential to that goal,” stated Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff, in a press release.

“By helping us purchase vehicles, rehabilitate our shelters and upgrade our technology, Infrastructure Canada is an important partner in providing this vital service to our residents. We are extremely grateful for the support and partnership.”

Chatham-Kent’s Transit Strategy was recently approved by Chatham-Kent Council. Read the report and view the presentation, here.

Minister McKenna said Canadians rely on public transit to get to work, run errands, and access the services they need.

“Canada’s Infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds stronger communities,” she said, in a press release.

Minister Yurek said he is proud that the federal and provincial governments recognize the unique infrastructural needs of communities and are committed to making transit more accessible and rider friendly.

“These projects will allow for more residents to access public transit and conveniently travel to jobs, businesses, and all of the great places to relax and have fun in the region,” he said, in a press release.

In St. Thomas, a new fleet of 14 zero-emission buses, along with new software systems and upgraded passenger amenities will offer public transit users an improved ridership experience and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Provincial officials say.

In Hanover, 11 new vehicles will increase the transit system’s capacity.

LaSalle public transit users will benefit from the installation of bike lockers at various locations, which will encourage active transportation and improve connections to bus stops.

Leamington will replace two buses at the end of their lifecycle with two new buses that offer more seating.

The installation and resurfacing of pedestrian and bike baths in Point Edward will provide residents with safe active transportation routes.

West Elgin will add a new paratransit van with a wheelchair lift, improving accessibility for residents who rely on the service every week.

In Woodstock, the purchase of two new buses, the expansion of a bus garage and storage facility, as well as the construction of an automatic washing facility will improve the quality of service for public transit users and extend the lifespan of the buses, Provincial officials added.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $6.7 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 $5.6 million.

The municipalities are contributing more than $3.9 million in total, Provincial officials added.

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