Waterloo region gets $15.1M to buy new buses, modernize fleet

The Region of Waterloo is receiving $15.1 million to buy new buses and modernize its fleet. The money is from the federal and provincial government's Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Money will help offset capital costs the region had already planned on

The funding announced Thursday will purchase 18 new buses and will upgrade on board equipment, including radios and cameras.

The Region of Waterloo has received more than $15.1 million from the federal and provincial governments to buy new buses and modernize its fleet.

The region learned last year it could apply for up to $34.9 million through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and a certain amount had been allocated for the region, but the projects still had to be approved and the money would come in two phases, regional councillor and chair of the region's planning and works committee Tom Galloway told CBC News.

"Until you apply and they agree to your projects, you don't know whether or not you're getting the money," Galloway said.

The region received $20 million last August through the fund for the rapid transit system.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund last August. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

New buses to expand routes

"This particular announcement today has to do mostly with conventional transit," he noted.

It will mean 18 new buses "which will allow us to expand our transit routes, particularly the iXpress routes," Galloway said.

The money will also go to replacing on-board equipment, like radios and cameras. Bus stops and ways to get to bus stops will be improved.

"There's money to study – not to build – a potential overpass of the expressway to allow for people better access to transit from a particular neighbourhood in Kitchener," Galloway said.

Most of these projects were included in the region's 10 year capital forecast and the region had already set aside money to do them.

"This money will definitely offset those capital costs that we had intended to incur over the next 10 years," Galloway said.

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