Red Deer transit receives provincial funding

  • Sep. 30, 2015 5:25 p.m.

The City of Red Deer and Red Deer County will recieve new funding in support of transit services.

The Alberta Government announced GreenTRIP grants to the City and County on Monday in support of the purchase of clean buses and a new rural transit initiative.

The announcement included $9.5 million to purchase 10 new buses using compressed natural gas (CNG), four CNG paratransit buses, new system-wide intelligent location technology and the purchase of a low floor diesel bus for the County for its rural transit initiative.

“Our government is committed to building healthy, sustainable communities by investing in transit in the Red Deer region and throughout Alberta,” said Brian Mason, minister of transportation.

Estimated costs of the new buses includes $3.7 million for 10 new CNG buses and $300,000 for four CNG paratransit buses for the City of Red Deer. Another $2.5 million will be invested to install CNG infrastructure as well as $2.75 million for intelligent location technology. The County of Red Deer will also see a new low floor diesel bus at a cost of $320,000.

“This GreenTRIP grant will ease congestion by increasing transit options for riders while significantly lowering fuel costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tara Veer, mayor of Red Deer.

The Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) is one of the many programs municipalities can access to support local priorities to provide sustainable public transit alternatives. Municipalities can apply for GreenTRIP capital funding to help purchase transit vehicles and technologies, build transit terminals and expand light rail transit services that increase ridership and reduce traffic congestion.

“I am pleased to see investments that improve transit options in Red Deer, which is the heart of one of Alberta’s most important transportation corridors,” said Barb Miller, MLA for Red Deer-South.

Kim Schreiner, MLA for Red Deer-North agreed.

“I’m very excited that our government is investing in our region and making public transit an increasingly viable option for the people of Red Deer.”

The City of Red Deer estimates the purchase of clean burning CNG buses, coupled with additional services will result in a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions of 61 tonnes per year in 2016, rising to 376 tonnes in reduced emissions per year by 2025, while Red Deer County estimates that expanded transit service will lower greenhouse-gas emissions in the County by almost 122 tonnes per year.

“With almost 20,000 people calling Red Deer County home, we are delighted to be able to expand affordable, accessible public transit to enhance service to Springbrook and Gasoline Alley,” said Jim Wood, mayor of Red Deer County.

– Fawcett