Province injects cash for larger City bus fleet

Forty new low-floor busses will soon be added to the City’s fleet, thanks to $12.1 million from the province’s GreenTRIP program.

“This project is an excellent example of how GreenTRIP is helping better connect our communities, while reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Luke Ouellette, minister of transportation. “The province partners with municipalities to develop effective and practical infrastructure solutions for Albertans.”

GreenTRIP is a $2-billion program providing one-time capital funding to support new and expanded public transit.

“We know that an efficient transportation network is an economic enabler.”

Applicants must contribute at least one-third of the capital cost of a project, with GreenTRIP providing two-thirds of project costs. The City has estimated the total cost of the 40 new busses to be about $18 million.

Over the course of the GreenTRIP program, $800 million in funding is available for transit projects in the Edmonton region; $800 million for the Calgary region; and $400 million for other Alberta municipalities.

“The new buses are going to make a positive addition to the quality of transit service the City of Red Deer already provides to residents and visitors,” said Cal Dallas, MLA for Red Deer-South. “This increased access to affordable transportation will help promote Red Deer as a vibrant place to live.

“The province and the City of Red Deer are continuing to experience this phenomenal growth, and in the years ahead more Albertans will be using public transit than ever before.”

Mary Anne Jablonski, MLA for Red Deer-North, also pointed out that the bolstered service benefits seniors, moms with strollers, families and is a fitting addition to City services with an ageing population.

“I couldn’t be happier for our City.”

Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling called the project a wonderful partnership that strengthens the City.

“Connecting our community in sustainable ways is a priority for the City of Red Deer, and this funding means we can move more people to more places,” he said. “This enables us to replace 17 buses scheduled for retirement, with the remaining 23 buses providing new and upgraded transit service. The best part is, we’re doing it all with clean diesel technology that substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”