Public transit in Edmonton, and what many see as much-needed improvements to a major thoroughfare in the city, are the latest recipients of funding by the Alberta government.
While the province had already committed to $215 million in funding for transit projects in municipalities across Alberta, on Thursday, the government announced how it would disperse the funds.
About $95.4 million will go to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region and of that money, the City of Edmonton will receiver over $89 million, according to Edmonton Transit Service spokesperson Rowan Anderson.
Anderson said the money will be used to fund a number of different transit projects in the city.
“Most notably, ETS will be able to purchase up to 28 additional electric buses with this,” he said, adding that number could grow up to 50 when previously announced funding is factored in.
Anderson said the Alberta government will also contribute over $24 million to “Terwillegar upgrades,” and that a portion of that money will “go towards electric buses on the Terwillegar Expressway.”
Tim Cartmell, the councillor for Ward 9, indicated he was happy with the funding.
“Other levels of government are starting to see that this project and development of this corridor is an important component of southwest Edmonton and that we need to make this investment and more,” he said. “It goes a long way, at least in the short term. Council approved Stage 1 and design of Stage 2 of Terwillegar Expressway, which was a total of $112 million.
Edmonton mayor Don Iveson called the funding that was announced on Thursday “critical for a big city like ours that continues to grow.”
“Two big wins for us include being able to move forward with relieving car congestion for one of the fastest-growing areas of the city, while also being able to green our bus fleet,” he said in a news release. “We are grateful to the Government of Alberta for recognizing these pressing needs that will both enhance the opportunities for Edmontonians to get around in our city and contribute to our climate resilience.”
Watch below: (From Sept. 25, 2018) Edmonton city council has been given a pair options for fixing congestion on Terwillegar Drive. Vinesh Pratap reports.
On Thursday, the province also announced that the Calgary Metropolitan Region will receive $101.8 million for transit projects while other Alberta communities will receive $17.8 million.
“These transit projects will help Albertans get to where they need to go in a timely and cost-efficient way while helping to reduce pollution and ease congestion,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason said in a news release. “We know folks would rather spend time with their family versus sitting in traffic. That’s why we are investing in new ways for Albertans to get to where they are going.”