The federal and provincial governments announced $9.4 million in funding for 15 new natural gas buses in Victoria and transit infrastructure improvements at the University of Victoria.
They’re pumping $3.1 million into 15 compressed natural gas powered buses to replace diesel buses at the end of their useful life.
“The new buses will help avoid gaps in the service and improve the capacity of the transit system in Greater Victoria, making it more reliable for users,” Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country during a streamed announcement.
The feds also put $1.7 million toward improving nine bus bays, six bus shelters and two layover bays on the north side of Ring Road at UVic. It will also go toward redeveloping the pedestrian and bicycle-storage infrastructure at the university.
“The two projects announced today will make it easier for people to use and choose public transit and protect the environment,” Weiler said.
The province is allocating $1.4 million in funding to the exchange project.
Rob Fleming, B.C.’s transportation and infrastructure minister, said the university’s bus exchange was Greater Victoria’s second-most used transit destination, prior to the pandemic.
“We can expect those kinds of service levels to bounce back and be part of UVic again,” he said.
Fleming said the government is committed to building back better by investing in projects that “create jobs, that give people more travel options in their region, get people where they need to go, and importantly, help us aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet our targets.”
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes told Black Press Media he was “delighted to see this initiative come forward” as it will improve transit service for students. He noted it’s been a pleasure for council to work with the student representatives from local post-secondary institutions and find ways for the municipality to respond to their calls for action.
The project recipients also put a combined $1.9 million into the two initiatives.
– With files from Devon Bidal
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