Laurie Scott, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure, was in Kitchener on June 30 to announce that up to $60.7 million dollars could be made available for transit upgrades throughout Waterloo Region.
In total, 16 projects in the area have been nominated to receive funds through the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30 billion, 10-year infrastructure cost-sharing program with municipalities and the federal government. Should all 16 of the nominated projects be approved, their total cost would be $182 million.
The region’s projects have been approved at municipal and now provincial levels, and will be submitted to the federal government for a green light before construction can begin.
The improvements under consideration include work on about 90 bus stops, as well as an increase in bus service to Conestoga College. A new Grand River Northfield Bus Maintenance Facility is also nominated. Should that project go forward, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, St. Jacobs, and New Hamburg, all of whom receive service from Grand River Transit (GRT), would have capacity for expansion of bus services, to better meet increasing demand.
Projects that are approved could begin as early as fall of this year.
“This government is committed to building infrastructure that makes life better for people across Ontario,” said Scott. “These nominated projects will help people in the Region of Waterloo spend less time commuting and more time doing the things they love with those they care about most.”
ICIP cost sharing allows the municipal, provincial, and federal governments to split the costs of infrastructure work. Ontario’s portion of the upcoming funding could be up to 33.33 per cent of the final cost of the funding.
Funding for transit systems is based on each system’s portion of Ontario’s total ridership. Projects in the City of Toronto, Region of York, and City of London are also waiting for federal approval for funding through ICIP.