Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the federal, provincial and local governments in B.C. will be contributing $136 million to five transit projects across B.C. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

UPDATED: $136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

The federal government announced that more than $136 million in joint funding will be coming to the province for five transit projects across B.C.

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, made the announcement at the BC Transit yard in Langford Friday morning.

“We know that as we make these investments in infrastructure, we’re starting to see a return on investment,” Hajdu said. “First of all it’s getting people back to work…but also it’s making things easier for our citizens…to get to where they need to go.”

READ MORE: BC Transit spends over $600,000 on new Victoria buses

The five transit projects will involve adding 118 new buses to the BC transit fleet, refurbishing existing buses, introducing on-board cashless fare and GPS tracking technologies to 790 buses, building 100 new transit shelters and purchasing generators for transit facilities in Whistler, Kamloops and Nanaimo so service can continue during power failures.

“We know people will take public transit when they can get from point A to point B in an efficient and reliable way,” Hajdu said.

The federal government is contributing $60 million to the project with the province matching the dollar amount.

“We have a very strong mandate in our government to make sure we are giving people options for transit,” said Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Saanich South.

Local governments will also be contributing funding to the projects, bringing the investment amount to around $136 million.

One of the new technologies being added to buses is the ability for individuals to check when buses are available or arriving using their smartphones. The technology has already been implemented in Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Whistler, Squamish and Kamloops. The next two cities receiving it will be Kamloops and Victoria.

READ MORE: BC Transit tests second electric bus on Victoria streets

“It’s making the ride experience easier for our customers,” said Aaron Lamb, vice president of asset management for BC Transit.

There will also be cashless options for payment using smartphones or cards added to buses.

New buses with GPS and cashless fares can be expected to roll out in the late summer or fall of 2019. Bus shelters will be coming out right away, Lamb said.

“We know that efficient public transit systems are one of the ways that citizens count on us,” Hajdu said. “It enhances productivity, it enhances quality of life and is a key component in our other agenda which is protecting the environment.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

From the Hill: The millstone of a cannabis conviction

Richard Cannings writes about records expungement for cannabis convictions

Tips for avoiding Canada Revenue Agency scams

Grand Forks RCMP are asking residents to be vigilant.

Grand Forks celebrates the holidays with Santa Claus parade, light up

The Christmas tradition was a hit on Friday night.

RDKB receives funding for disaster response ‘work space’ in Midway

The work space and storage will be used by disaster response volunteers.

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall dies

Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

B.C. Court of Appeal to rule in terror case that centres on RCMP conduct

B.C.’s appeal court is scheduled to release a decision today on a couple whose guilty verdict over plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was thrown out by a lower court judge.

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

Most Read