News release

Federal Public Transit Funds Improve Service

Public transit in Nova Scotia has improved this year, thanks to an $11.7-million investment by the government of Canada through the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Public Transit Funds.

Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations announced today, June 12, details on how the funding is being used.

The $11.7-million investment is being shared among several transit systems, including Halifax Regional Municipality's Metro Transit, Kings Transit in the Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton Regional Municipality's system and five systems in rural communities across the province.

"The government of Canada is proud to be working in partnership with the province of Nova Scotia to address its current and future infrastructure needs, especially in areas of public transit, in a way that respects jurisdiction," said Mr. Cannon. "Investment in public transit supports the development of sustainable, vibrant and healthy communities. In addition to environmental benefits, these public-transit investments also provide accessible options for people with disabilities."
"This investment is improving accessible travel and public transit in both urban and rural communities in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Muir. "It contributes to the quality of life of people in those communities, as well as helping reduce traffic congestion and the associated greenhouse-gas emissions."

The Halifax Regional Municipality invested its $10.9 million funding allocation to upgrade fare-box technology and purchase vehicles. New electronic fare boxes provide statistical data to help track passenger travel and monitor passenger fares, providing information that can be used in transit planning.

"Funding for transit services is always a worthwhile investment," said Peter Kelly, mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality. "This particular investment is helping us continue to improve and expand Metro Transit to better serve our citizens, while also contributing to HRM's efforts to reach our environmental and economic goals."

Cape Breton Regional Municipality is spending its allocation of almost $350,000 on capital improvements to improve accessiblity for people with disabilities.

Kings Transit plans to use its more than $320,000 to purchase two feeder buses and to enhance its bus-camera security. Five accessible mini-vans or buses are also being purchased for rural community transit organizations, at a cost of about $170,000. Dial-a-Ride services will be improved in Annapolis, Pictou, Colchester, Kings and Digby counties.

"I'm pleased to see federal money and effort being put into transit service in this province," said Russell Walker, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. "Improving and expanding transit service in our communities will benefit residents and the local economies."

The federal funding builds on the government of Canada's other infrastructure programs in Nova Scotia, such as $145.2 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund for 2005-2010, $37 million under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, and $25.8 million from the Public Transit Capital Trust. As well, the government of Canada has provided $90.5 million for large-scale Nova Scotia projects under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. The federal budget also makes an historic commitment of more than $16 billion over seven years in infrastructure across Canada, bringing federal infrastucture support under a new long-term plan to $33 billion.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Public Transit in Nova Scotia is expanding and improving, thanks to an 11-point-7-million-dollar federal investment.

Halifax Regional Municipality's Metro Transit, Cape Breton transit, Kings Transit in the Annapolis Valley and five systems in rural communities are improving accessible travel and public transit.

The funding is through the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Public Transit Funds.

Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Jamie Muir says the federal transit funding is not only improving quality of life, it is helping reduce traffic congestion and the greenhouse-gas emissions.

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Media Contact:

Deborah Bayer
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-0112 E-mail:
Natalie Sarafian
Infrastructure Canada 613-991-0700
Infrastructure Canada
Communications Directorate 613-948-1148