Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced more than $31.2 million in joint federal-provincial funding for improvements in public transit across British Columbia. Upgrades will include the construction of a new transit exchange in Nelson and modernization of bus fleets in various communities.
The City of Nelson will benefit from a new, expanded transit exchange in the city core to support increased service levels. The exchange will feature up to five bus bays, transit bus shelters, and related improvements to road and pedestrian infrastructure. It will also be close to planned cycling improvements to encourage active transportation.
Several communities, including Central Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Victoria, will benefit from more than 100 light and heavy-duty buses that will replace older buses and expand the current fleet to serve more commuters. The 20 heavy-duty buses will feature renewable natural gas, while select buses will be fitted with hybrid electric drive systems to reduce fuel and gas emissions by up to 20 percent. This will allow BC Transit the opportunity to trial and assess the technology as the organization moves towards their goal to transition to an all-electric fleet. CCTV cameras on all buses, wheelchair assist loading systems on 34 buses, and NextRide tracking and payment technologies on select buses will increase safety, accessibility, and convenience.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $15.6 million. The Government of B.C. is matching this amount. Contributions from local government partners in benefiting communities total more than $7.8 million.