For Immediate Release
July 24, 2002
OTTAWA — The Ernie Eves government is investing more than $12.8 million this year to assist the City of Ottawa with the purchase of 79 new coach buses to replace aging OC Transpo buses, Ontario Transportation Minister Norm Sterling announced today.
Sterling was joined at Ottawa City Hall by Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli to unveil one of the new OC Transpo buses. Ottawa has received 57 of the new buses. The remaining buses are scheduled to arrive in December 2002.
"Last September, we announced our government's vision to create a balanced, integrated transportation system where transit plays a key role," Sterling said. "Today's announcement is proof that we are making good on our promise to help upgrade and replace aging transit fleets in Ottawa and throughout Ontario."
"These kinds of strategic investments play a vital role in building healthy communities. We welcome partnerships like this one - they make a real difference to the services municipalities are able to offer residents, and have a major impact on the quality of life for people here in Ottawa and across the province," Chiarelli said.
"This investment by our government will help Ottawa improve its transit system," said Ottawa-Orleans MPP Brian Coburn. "Through this investment the government is reinforcing its commitment to public transit for area commuters and visitors."
The Ontario Transit Renewal Program will provide 65 municipalities throughout Ontario with $100 million in 2002 to replace and renew aging transit fleets. In addition, funds may be used for major bus refurbishing to extend the life of a bus for a minimum of six years.
"This investment responds to our local needs by allowing OC Transpo to purchase more buses that can be lowered to the curb, or have low floors with no stairs, plus a ramp and wheelchair options for easier boarding," said Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Gary Guzzo.
Today's announcement is part of Ontario's $3.25 billion transit plan over 10 years for transit renewal and expansion.
The Ontario government has taken a lead role in promoting a balanced and integrated transportation network in line with Ontario's Smart Growth objectives of sustaining a strong economy, building strong communities and ensuring a clean, healthy environment.