The funding will go towards the purchase of three transit vehicles to provide service between the two towns. It will also support the construction of a park and ride facility in Turner Valley. The town of Pincher Creek will also receive government funding.
“I am proud that, on behalf of Transportation Minister Brian Mason, we announced more than $1.3 million in support for these critical projects from all three orders of government – more than $900,000 from the province alone,” said Brian Malkinson, MLA for Calgary-Currie.
“Working together we are not just supporting transit within these communities; we are helping to enhance accessibility and improve regional transit service between these communities and across the Calgary Region.” Brian Malkinson, MLA, Calgary-Currie
Creating option to choose transit over driving
“Public transportation also provides people with the option to choose transit over driving which means fewer cars on our roads, less congestion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. I’ve personally seen first-hand how well this system is working, and look forward to its continued success,” added Malkinson.
Of this $1.3 million, almost $700,000 will go towards enhancing local On-It facilities and local transit service in Black Diamond and Turner Valley.
“As initiator and operator of the On-It regional transit system, working closely with the Ministry of Transportation, the CRP is pleased to hear of the commitment of more than $1.3 million for new transit projects in three Alberta communities,” said CRP Chairman, Mayor Bill Robertson (Mayor of Okotoks).
Supporting smaller communities in Calgary Region
According to Colleen Shepherd, Executive Director, Calgary Regional Partnership, “We care about the smaller municipalities in the Calgary Region, and a collaborative approach to transit strengthens these communities by improving their access to local transit options.”
“The On-It regional transit vision and brand is to connect communities and to provide mobility options to improve the quality of life for regional residents.” Colleen Shepherd, Executive Director, CRP
The On-It brand represents a complete mobility vision that is inclusive of:
- commuter service
- local transit service
- bike trails
- park and ride lots
- and facilities
“The complete mobility approach has always been at the forefront of the transit brand development. In helping the CRP to achieve its branding vision, we applaud the forward thinking of the Government of Alberta and the federal government in supporting this initiative,” said Shepherd.
Funding local transit initiatives
The funding for three local buses includes adaptation for wheelchair users for the service between Black Diamond and Turner Valley. The local service between Black Diamond and Turner Valley will connect to the On-It Regional Transit pilot service to Okotoks, High River and Calgary.
“The Town of Black Diamond is very happy to be the recipient of grant funding to further our goal of providing public transit to our residents,” said Glen Fagan, Mayor, Town of Black Diamond.
“Without the leadership of the Calgary Regional Partnership, Black Diamond would not have our own inter municipal transit system.” Mayor Glen Fagan, Black Diamond.
“This is a service that can grow with us, get people to businesses, medical care or get them to their jobs. Being able to access provincial and federal grant funding helps us create these much-needed services for our communities.”
“The Town of Turner Valley is very supportive of both the grants that were announced and the role Calgary Regional Partnership has played in helping to realize a public transit service for the Town of Turner Valley.” Barry Williamson, Chief Administrative Officer, Turner Valley
While still in the planning stages, the funding for the new Park and Ride facility will likely include public washrooms and a covered bus stop.
Transit is good for economic growth
In an official release, the governments of Canada and Alberta recognize that investing in public transit infrastructure is crucial to:
- economic growth
- reducing air pollution
- creating inclusive communities where everyone has access to public services and job opportunities.
According to Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, “Helping Canadians get to and from their daily activities quickly and easily is essential to creating strong communities and fostering long-term prosperity.”
“These projects will not only meet the current needs of residents but lay the foundation for future community development,” he said.
Safe and reliable transit for smaller communities
“This funding demonstrates our government’s commitment to make life better for Albertans by providing smaller communities with safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable public transportation options,” said Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation.
“Regional public transit is critical for residents in smaller cities and towns, giving residents better access to jobs, healthcare, education, recreation and shopping in larger centres, while supporting local growth, said Mason.
On a final note
Alberta’s transit investment aligns with the province’s Climate Leadership Plan, as transit helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing affordable alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles.
The projects are in addition to 107 others approved for funding since Canada and Alberta signed the Canada-Alberta PTIF and Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Bilateral Agreement in September 2016.