MPPs Walker and Thompson announce funding for SMART transit project

Local MPPs Bill Walker and Lisa Thompson announced today that Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit (SMART), a specialized public transit service providing transportation to residents of nine municipalities across Bruce and Grey Counties, has been nominated under the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

The Ontario government is working to support municipalities and get people moving by investing in new transit infrastructure projects in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and Huron-Bruce.

“I’m very pleased to see our region receiving funding to purchase new buses,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. “SMART does a great job providing accessible transportation services to people in need across our region, including Arran-Elderslie, Brockton, Chatsworth, Hanover, Huron-Kinloss, Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, Southgate and West Grey. Supporting access to transit is one of our government’s top priorities. Our government is investing in what matters most.”

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson added that, “We’re committed to providing predictable, secure infrastructure funding to address local priorities. Our government is delivering the infrastructure that our local citizens and the people of Ontario need and deserve.”

SMART is receiving $255,912 in funding from the provincial portion of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Public Transit Stream, to purchase 11 new specialized transit buses. The total cost of the project is $767,813.

“These nominated projects will help people in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and Huron-Bruce spend less time commuting and more time doing the things they love with those they care about most,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure.

The projects are now with the federal government for final funding decisions as they are reviewed for eligibility under the ICIP program.

“We’re excited to be able to fund this project; these initiatives promise to make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Scott. “Now it’s up to the federal government to approve them.”

 The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a $30 billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent or about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Green, 4. Community, Culture and Recreation

Funding is allocated to transit systems based on a municipality’s or municipalities’ share of total transit ridership in Ontario as per the 2015 Canadian Urban Transit Association Fact Book. This allocations-based funding model was set by the federal government.

These projects are from the first intake of ICIP applications from municipalities outside the GTHA. Some project applications from this intake are still under consideration by the province. According to the province, it intends to make more announcements from this intake soon. Information on additional intakes will be released when available.

The combined investment from the federal, provincial and local governments for the 16 Region of Waterloo transit projects forwarded under the Public Transit stream would be more than $182 million.