Federal government invests $9.7 million into Guelph’s transit system


The federal government is investing about $9.7 million in Guelph’s transit infrastructure and related projects.

The funding, announced by local MP Lloyd Longfield at the Guelph Transit garage on Watson Road, is Ottawa’s share of a total of $19.4 million to be spent on five projects in the city. Across the province, federal funding for 312 transit projects was announced on Friday.

The $9.7 million for Guelph from the federal government will be split up this way:

• $7,370,770 for transit bus replacement, including 24 conventional buses and nine specialized vehicles.
• $1.3 million for replacing fare boxes on all buses to improve efficiency, reduce potential for fraud and missed fares, and automate validation of U of G student passes and transfers.
• $363,221 to upgrade 132 bus stops to ensure that multi-route stops have shelters, and where possible, that all stops are accessible.
• $147,500 for developing a transportation master plan for Guelph that addresses all modes of transportation, including transit, vehicular transportation, active transportation and trails.
• $500,000 for upgrading the traffic signal control system that co-ordinates traffic signals along major streets. This involves replacing two outdated systems with a new system that would reduce traffic congestion and delays, and could enable signal priority for transit buses.

Total cost of the projects: $19.4 million
The province is also contributing toward the $19.4 million cost of these projects through provincial gas tax money going to the city. City hall said last fall, when it applied for money from the public transit infrastructure fund, that more than 60 per cent of the city’s share of the cost would come from provincial gas tax money.

The funding announced on Friday is part of the first phase of Investing in Canada, the federal government’s plan to support public infrastructure across the country. The federal government will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities, said a government news release.

“I want to thank the Government of Canada for this funding, which represents a major investment in the future of Guelph’s transit system,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said in the release. “New buses, bus shelters, fare boxes and signal controls will all improve the customer experience — while boosting operational efficiency at the same time. This is a big day for Guelph Transit and for the City of Guelph.”

“Efficient and sustainable public transit plays an important role in keeping our communities among the best places in the world to live, while supporting the middle class and those working hard to join it,” Longfield said in the release. “By working with our provincial and municipal partners, the Government of Canada will deliver real support through projects like this which will improve the efficiency, accessibility and develop a master transportation plan for the residents of Guelph.”

“I am pleased to have a federal partner that shares our commitment to investing in modern, accessible public transit,” said local MPP Liz Sandals. “These upgrades to our transit system will benefit our entire community and improve riders’ experience for a more comfortable and efficient daily commute.”