Ontario announces $13 million in funding to improve Barrie Transit
Kim Phillips, CTV Barrie
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:25PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 22, 2019 6:55PM EDT
Barrie's Transit system got a big boost from the province on Thursday.
"I'm pleased to announce the province of Ontario has approved over $13 million over four projects for local infrastructure," Barrie-Innisfil-Oro-Medonte MPP Doug Downey said.
The money will go towards a new transit terminal at the Allandale GO station, replacing 30 conventional buses and 21 specialized buses, and improving infrastructures, such as bus signs and shelters.
"This is a day we have long awaited." Mayor Jeff Lehman said the new replacement fleet is vital as the city's ridership continues to grow. "Let me tell you, 51 vehicles is absolutely remarkable. It's a huge piece of our capital plan."
The new buses will be transitioned into service over the next few years to ensure there is no disruption to the service.
The new Allandale Mobility Hub backs onto Essa Road and will replace the downtown location, which will become a connection hub.
Annual ridership with Barrie Transit is expected to exceed three-million this year, that's up from 2.7 million over the past couple of years.
"Residents need access to high quality and efficient public transportation. We all want to make sure that businesses see more customers, and families spend less time travelling and more time together," Downey said.
The transit projects will begin next year with funding being spread out over multiple years.
Construction on the Allandale hub is expected to be completed by late 2021 or early 2022.