Ontario to invest nearly $20M in 11 new transit projects in Barrie, Orillia, Midland – Global News

Ontario to invest nearly $20M in 11 new transit projects in Barrie, Orillia, Midland - Global News
Were putting people first: Ford announces $20M in transit funding
The Ontario government is investing nearly $20 million in 11 new transportation projects in Barrie, Orillia and Midland, according to an announcement made on Thursday.

“When we build better transit in communities across Ontario like Barrie, Orillia and Midland, it boosts the local economy,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in statement. “Municipalities can see increasing revenues that they can reinvest in frontline community services and programs.”

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The government is investing more than $13.6 million in five projects in Barrie, including committing almost $7.8 million to replace 30 buses, allocating nearly $3.3 million to the Allandale Mobility Hub terminal that will connect to Go Transit and contributing more than $1.5 million for 21 buses for people with disabilities.

In Barrie, the Ontario government will also contribute more than $900,000 to infrastructure improvements and nearly $110,000 for two new lay-by-lane bus stops at the downtown transit hub.

“Families in Barrie depend on reliable and efficient public transportation,” Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie–Springwater–Oro Medonte and the province’s Attorney General, said in a statement. “When we invest in smart infrastructure, we create jobs and grow the economy, shaping the future for hard-working families in Ontario.”

The province will also commit more than $5.4 million toward four projects in Orillia, including nearly $3.7 million for a new transit terminal, almost $1.4 million to replace seven buses, $226,000 for 30 accessible bus shelters and $185,000 for a new fare system, security cameras and bike racks.

“Ontario is keeping its promise to build better public transit and is working with municipalities to do so,” Ontario’s minister of transportation, Caroline Mulroney, said in a statement. “Expanding and improving public transit helps connect people with jobs and businesses with customers.”

The Ontario government will invest nearly $275,000 toward two projects in Midland – more than $238,000 to replace three buses and over $36,500 for a new bus system.

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“This funding is about more than just concrete and steel,” Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, said in a statement. “Projects like these, and Midland’s better bus tracking technology, will make commuting by bus more convenient than ever before.”

The funding will be under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, a 10-year, $30-billion fund aimed at helping municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure.

The 11 projects are now with the federal government for final funding decisions as they are reviewed for eligibility under the program.

Premier Doug Ford visited the Sunshine City on Thursday to announce funding to improve transit in both Orillia and Midland.

"Our government is pouring money into infrastructure," Ford said from Orillias public works garage.

The premier said the investment would be put towards new buses, upgrades to existing buses, new transit terminals, and a new fare system, "to make life easier for commuters."

The funding is all part of the provinces plan to invest $144 billion into infrastructure across Ontario over the next decade, something Ford said no other provincial government has ever done.

"To date, our government has approved over 350 projects to improve the quality of life right across Ontario," the premier said. "Were putting people first."

With the provincial funding, Orillia will receive $5.4 million for a new transit terminal, seven replacement buses and 30 new bus shelters.

"We have a transit hub right now that I would describe undiplomatically as Mickey Mouse, and this will allow us to make our transit system mature," Orillia Mayor Steve Clark said.

The town of Midland will receive $275,000 to replace three buses and put in place a new bus system to optimize scheduling and better precision in vehicle tracking.

Earlier today, MPP Doug Downey announced Barrie Transit would receive more than $13 million in funding to enhance its system. It will include a new Allandale Mobility Hub, 51 replacement buses, and improvements to infrastructure.