Municipal Transit Boost
Province announces funding for rapid transit in Waterloo Region
Waterloo Region - The Province of Ontario yesterday committed $300 million towards the capital cost of constructing a rapid transit system in Waterloo Region.
“We are pleased that the Province continues to recognize the importance of the Region’s rapid transit project, and has made a specific funding commitment to the initial phase of the project,” said Regional Chair Ken Seiling.
In June 2009, based on the extensive evaluation and analysis conducted during the Rapid Transit Environmental Assessment, Regional Council:
· Approved a light rail transit (LRT) system from Waterloo to Cambridge as the Region’s long-term preferred rapid transit system;
· Recognized that a staged implementation would be required to ensure the best match of transit technology to ridership and intensification potential; and
· Approved the initial phase of the project which includes LRT from Conestoga Mall to Fairview Park Mall and adapted bus rapid transit from Fairview Park Mall to the Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge.
“Light rail transit, implemented in stages, is the best environmentally and financially sustainable solution to help manage our community’s future growth and the region’s transportation needs,” said Seiling.
Now that the Provincial government has announced their specific funding for the project, the Region will be seeking a matching funding commitment from the Federal government as soon as possible. This would be consistent with the announcement in July 2008 by both the Provincial and Federal governments that the Region’s rapid transit project was a priority for funding under the Building Canada Fund. Once the amount of Federal funding is confirmed the Region will be able to move forward with the planning and design of the project.