Modern technology, improved infrastructure and newer and cleaner buses are topping the list of BC Transit projects for Kamloops soon to roll out under phase one of the new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone announced today.
This announcement is part of a series of announcements being made today to unveil details of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June with Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Kamloops and BC Transit have prioritized technology enhancements that will pave the way for a better customer experience from beginning to end. Modernizations to buses include closed-circuit TV (CCTV) to increase the safety of passengers and drivers, real-time information about where buses are located to make service more convenient and automatic passenger counters that will enable BC Transit to optimize service delivery based on informed data.
As part of this investment in technology, Kamloops buses will be equipped with automatic vehicle locators. This technology will provide real time information to passengers about where the bus is located at any time of the day, enabling transit riders to more conveniently plan their trips. Vehicle location technology will also improve operating efficiencies by providing transit operations with real-time route and service information.
Kamloops is also receiving another 19 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to add to their fleet of cleaner, more efficient CNG buses. These new vehicles will come online next year to replace older diesel buses. CNG-fuelled buses reduce operating costs for BC Transit and for Kamloops as the fuel is less expensive and has a smaller carbon footprint compared to traditional transit vehicles.
This announcement follows on the heels of the recent commitment to expand handyDART service in Kamloops by an extra 2,000 hours beginning in September 2016. Now, the full complement of transit users will see improvements to their daily commute thanks to the near $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects throughout the province.
This is the first phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and provides BC Transit-served communities with $90 million in funding from the federal government and $67.8 million from the Province with local governments contributing an additional 17% to fund new capital projects in their regions over the next three years.
BC Transit will continue to work with local governments to identify priority projects for the second phase of the federal-provincial funding.
In partnership with local governments, BC Transit provides access to public transit to more than 1.6 million British Columbians in 130 communities outside Metro Vancouver. As a result of our commitment to transit in B.C., communities with as few as 1,000 people have access to transit making BC Transit a unique service for smaller communities anywhere in Canada.
The Province also provides the highest level of operating funding support, per capita, for transit in Canada.
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“Kamloops transit users are going to see some important new benefits over the next couple of years with the conveniences of modern technologies like real-time schedule information and bus locator technology. And the addition of 19 new cleaner burning CNG fuelled buses means that transit users can rest easy knowing they are contributing to reducing our carbon footprint one bus ride at a time.”
Peter Milobar, mayor of Kamloops –
“This new technology along with new buses burning cleaner, cheaper fuel will improve this important transit service. Our growing community relies on transportation connections that are reliable and serve our needs and this funding is important in keeping our people connected and moving.”
Manuel Achadinha, president and CEO of BC Transit –
“With this additional funding, we will be able to expand the CNG fleet in Kamloops which will support the environment. The enhancements in technology will improve safety for operators and customers and lay the foundation for a more effective transit system in the City of Kamloops.”
- The bilateral Public Transit Infrastructure Fund agreement provides BC Transit with $90 million in funding from the federal government and $67.8 million from the Province with local governments contributing an additional 17% of funding for new capital projects in their regions over the next three years.
- In the past, local governments have been responsible for approximately 50% of the funding for these projects.
- Phase one is prioritizing renewal projects that include:
- New Infrastructure: bus depots, maintenance yards, operations facilities and new CNG fuelling stations.
- New buses: investments in more efficient buses including cleaner burning CNG-fuelled buses, new buses for handyDART service expansion, and replacement buses.
- New technology: Buses to be equipped with CCTV to enhance safety for passengers and drivers, automatic passenger counters and real-time information to provide data to improve transit operating efficiencies.