Thanks to an investment of more than $248.5 million from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and BC Transit, communities across British Columbia will receive new buses and see important upgrades to public transit infrastructure.
This investment will help BC Transit complete four separate vehicle acquisitions, purchasing approximately 210 Light Duty (LD) buses, 29 High Capacity (HC) diesel buses, 10 HC Battery Electric Buses (BEB), and 6 LD BEBs. The new vehicles will support both handyDART and conventional transit services and replace aging models that currently serve regional transit systems.
The Government of Canada is investing $102,346,529 in these projects, while the Government of British Columbia is investing $99,246,529. BC Transit is contributing $46,923,263.
“These investments are another great example of the Province, the federal government and BC Transit’s shared commitment to improving public transit and providing people with affordable alternative ways to travel. This funding will help transition to buses that use cleaner power sources, upgrade bus stop shelters, carry out critical maintenance activities and ensure that our transit exchanges are modern and efficient to accommodate future growth,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Funding will further support additional transit improvements across British Columbia. A component replacement initiative will extend the life, reliability, and safety of up to 377 high-capacity double-decker heavy and medium duty buses in BC Transit’s fleet through transmission, engine, differential, and driver seat (TED) replacements. Approximately 286 new and refitted bus shelters throughout B.C. will also provide transit users with comfort and safety in inclement weather.
“Replacing our aging fleet, maintaining existing fleets and making sure our customers have transit shelters that make their experience a more comfortable one are all great projects being funded with this announcement. As we have now returned to our pre-pandemic ridership levels, the addition of more buses will continue to help us ensure transit remains the most convenient transportation solution for communities across the province. All these projects are made possible by all levels of government working together and I thank everyone involved in funding public transit,” said Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit.
In Kelowna, funding will support a design plan for a new operations and maintenance facility and complete upgrades to the existing Kelowna Transit Centre to support service expansion and a future battery electric bus fleet for the regional transit system.
The facility upgrades in Kelowna and the vehicles acquired in service areas throughout the province align with BC Transit’s plan to electrify its fleet by 2040 and the Province’s CleanBC emissions reduction goals.
“Investing in public transit improvements supports our nation-wide commitment to make public transit robust, reliable, and a convenient travel option. The new and retrofitted bus shelters will improve commuters’ experience and comfort, while the transit centre plans and upgrades, bus acquisitions, and major bus component replacements will increase ridership and reduce our carbon footprint. Canada will continue to build strong public transit systems to help British Columbians, and all Canadians, get to where they need to go,” said Wilson Miao, MP for Richmond Centre.
Featured image: (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastrucure)