Northern Ontario communities receiving funding for transit

Three levels of government are investing $99 million in funding for Greater Sudbury Transit.

A number of communities will benefit, including Chapleau, Cochrane, Espanola, Timmins and Kapuskasing

Sudbury Liberal MPP Glenn Thibeault, Sudbury Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre, Nickel Belt Liberal MP Marc Serre and Sudbury mayor Brian Bigger announced funding for Sudbury Transit on Friday. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Three levels of government are investing $99 million in funding for Greater Sudbury Transit.

Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger, Sudbury MPP Glen Thibeault, Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre made the announcement on Friday.

The federal government will spend $39 million and another $33 million will come from the province.

To be eligible for the funding, the City of Greater Sudbury will contribute the additional $27 million.

Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre says the money will be spread out over a decade.

"Municipalities have told us please provide us with sustainable funding for a period of time not just one year grants then you have to start over," he said.

"So what we've done with this funding is over ten years."

Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault says it's important to invest in transit for citizens and the environment.

"Building the public transit system that everyone can utilize, less cars on the road means less [greenhouse gases] in the air which is part of this overall system," he said.

"But really it is making sure that we can invest in public transit that actually helps the communities and that's going to be a big difference here for the people of Sudbury."

Mayor Brian Bigger calls the funding an historic day for the city.

"Today's announcement will carry us beyond the progress that has been made to date to create transit routes, schedules and services to establish healthier, greener and sustainable transportation options throughout our vast city," he said.

The federal government says other cities in northern Ontario are eligible for funding, including Chapleau, Cochrane, Espanola, Timmins and Kapuskasing.

The individual communities will decide how to use the funding for transit improvements.

Tune into Morning North, on CBC Radio One on Monday morning, March 19, at ten after seven, to hear more from Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger, about how the money will be spent.

With files from Angela Gemmill