Guelph applies for the full $10 million of public transit infrastructure funding:
Council directs staff to order replacement buses
Guelph, Ont., October 25, 2016– The City has applied for just over $10 million of federal and provincial funding for five infrastructure projects that will improve Guelph’s public transit system.
“There’s an established community need for the projects we’ve put forward in our application to Infrastructure Canada’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF),” says Colleen Clack, the City’s DCAO of Public Services. “If our projects are approved, we’ll be able to use the full funding amount Guelph is eligible to receive.”
Through the PTIF, the City is eligible for $10.2 million from Infrastructure Canada and Infrastructure Ontario, which is about half of the estimated $20.5 million total cost for all five projects. Although the eligible funding amount is allocated based on ridership and population size—as determined by the Canadian Urban Transit Association 2014 Fact Book—the City requires approval from both federal and provincial governments for each project to access the funding.
Of the City’s $10.3 million portion, $2.4 million will be funded by the tax supported capital reserve, $1.3 million from tax supported debt, $0.2 million from the development charges reserve, and $6.4 million from the City’s provincial gas tax funds.
“Replacing twenty-four of Guelph Transit’s conventional buses and nine mobility buses is one of the projects that we want to see funded through the PTIF,” adds Clack. “New buses will increase the reliability and accessibility of our service and reduce maintenance costs.”
The City is required to spend 75 per cent of the PTIF dollars by March 31, 2018 and the production of the replacement buses can take up to one year. City staff anticipates the PTIF funding—available to all Canadian municipalities—will generate increased demand for bus manufacturers and may create a backlog of new orders. In response, last night Council directed staff to proceed with the first installment for replacement buses, in advance of the 2017 capital budget process.
The PTIF supports the rehabilitation of public transit systems, the planning of future system improvements and expansions, enhanced asset management, and system optimization and modernization. It is one of the federal government’s phase 1 infrastructure investments.
The City’s application was submitted in advance of the deadline and confirmation of receipt was provided by the MOECC on October 14. The City anticipates a decision will be made on its application by the end of December.
About Guelph’s PTIF projects
Guelph Transit replacements and upgrades
The City’s existing transit infrastructure requires replacements and upgrades to ensure the services provided are safe and accessible for riders and reduce maintenance costs. The program of work includes the following projects:
- Farebox replacements on all buses
- Bus stop upgrades to ensure multi-route stops have shelters and, where possible, all stops are accessible
- Replacement of 24 conventional buses, nine mobility buses and three operations vehicles
Transit/Transportation Master Plan
The development of a comprehensive, long-term Transportation Master Plan and vision for Guelph that addresses all modes of transportation including public transit, active and vehicular transportation and trail networks.
Traffic signal control system
A computerized system that coordinates traffic signals along major streets, maximizes the capacity of the road network and reduces traffic congestion and delays. This will replace the City’s existing two independent, outdated systems. The new system will also provide the opportunity to implement transit signal priority on major transit corridors.