Transit in Red Deer is set to become more accessible thanks to a funding announcement.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of infrastructure and communities, was joined in Red Deer on Dec. 3rd by MLAs Kim Schreiner and Barb Miller to discuss the announcement of $13.17 million in joint funding from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) and the Green Trip Incentives Program (GreenTRIP). This funding is aimed at making transit more accessible than ever before, officials say.
Sohi and Schreiner and Miller met with Mayor Tara Veer and Red Deer City council about the joint funding, which is currently slated for local improvements and accessibility upgrades at bus stops, replacement of conventional transit buses and system wide intelligent transit, to name a few.
“With municipalities responsible for 60 per cent of infrastructure in Canada, funding like this is critical to ensuring the economic prosperity and vitality of our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “As in all major cities in Alberta, Red Deer has many citizens and families who face financial challenges in meeting their daily needs. Affordable transportation provides the opportunity for low income citizens and families to access employment and education opportunities, as well as important community and government resources.”
Allocation of the PTIF and GreenTRIP funding marks the first time the federal and provincial governments have evaluated the criteria in a way that enabled municipalities to determine funding priorities for their respective community.
“As a unique mid-sized city and regional hub, we appreciate that these funding programs acknowledge our responsibility to meet federal funding criteria, but to exercise local autonomy in how federal and provincial dollars best meet the needs of local citizens,” said Veer.
The minister, MLAs, and City council also discussed the critical need of infrastructure because community building is country building. Approval of initiatives like this week’s pipeline approval are necessary infrastructure to ensuring continued economic growth and development in the City and province.
Recent funding announcements from the federal government of over $180 billion over 12 years will result in municipalities receiving funds through an agreement between the federal and provincial governments. The City of Red Deer has advocated for a tri-lateral agreement between municipal, provincial and federal governments for this funding to ensure municipal priorities are met.
“Today’s announcement in Red Deer marks a new era in intergovernmental relations. We are honoured to have Minister Sohi in our community to make an announcement of this magnitude because it is thanks to funding like this that we are collectively able to continue building strong communities across our province and our country. City building is country building,” said Veer.