The federal and provincial governments are providing the City of Airdrie with $866,300 in transit funding mainly for the construction of a new transit terminal in the north end of the city next year.
The funding will also pay for the replacement of 16 buses in Airdrie in 2018 as well as one new bus.
The money is part of a nationwide initiative to invest in public infrastructure.
“We want to cut down the greenhouse emissions. We want to improve the quality of life for Canadians,” Calgary Skyview Liberal MP Darshan Singh Kang said following a meeting with City officials in Airdrie Dec. 3.
He said it’s important to have various modes of transportation available for students as well as seniors who can no longer drive. Investing money into infrastructure will also create jobs for Canadians, he said.
The federal government is contributing $259,433 from its Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the provincial government is contributing $606,867 through its Green Transit Incentives Program.
Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown said although the City’s initial contribution is zero, it will have to pay for operating costs.
He said by the end of this year there will be 300,000 passenger trips on Airdrie Transit.
“That’s a pretty big accomplishment when six years ago we had a dial-a-bus service,” Brown said.
“We’re on a significant push. It’s great regionalism, it’s great partnering with other communities.”
Chris MacIsaac, the City’s transit co-ordinator, said the new bus terminal will be constructed somewhere in the north end of the city and will take at least two years to build.
He said administration is currently looking into where exactly the terminal will be built. Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to begin in May.
Bike racks will be installed on the new bus as well as at bus stops in Airdrie, he added.
“We wanted to provide more options for people to get from their home to the bus,” MacIsaac said.
The funding includes a federal contribution of $23,331 and provincial contribution of $46,669 for the implementation of mobile ticketing technology in January.
“We’ll have a little bit of a stand set up in each community so you actually call the bus and it’ll meet you there at a certain time,” Brown said.
“You walk down, get on the bus, it’ll take you to a regular station, a regular cycle and you’re on the system right away. So it’s actually really cool.”