$49.1 Million in Federal Funding to Expand and Upgrade TransLink Fleet



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - TransLink is getting a boost to expand
and upgrade its fleet thanks to $49.1 million in federal funding from the Gas
Tax Agreement.
    The announcement was made today by the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister
of Public Safety on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, together with British Columbia
Premier Gordon Campbell. The Minister and the Premier were joined by TransLink
Chair Malcolm Brodie and Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) President Elect
Susan Gimse at the UBCM convention today in Vancouver.
    "Canada's New Government is providing funding that will help Metro
Vancouver meet its infrastructure needs and maintain Canada's commitment to
support a stronger, safer and better country," said Minister Day. "I am proud
to be part of delivering these results for the Province of British Columbia."

    
    This money will contribute to the purchase of 199 buses in 2008:

    - 90 vehicles will expand the fleet (21 articulated hybrid buses and
      69 clean-diesel buses).
    - 109 alternative technology buses will replace older existing models.
    

    The Metro Vancouver region has allocated its full share of funding under
the Gas Tax Agreement to TransLink for transit improvements. TransLink will
have received $122.8 million over the first three years of the Gas Tax
Agreement, and that total will rise to approximately $307 million by 2010.
    "An expanded TransLink fleet that uses more green technology is good news
for Metro Vancouver transit riders and all Lower Mainland residents," said
Premier Campbell. "This funding will mean more options for commuters, cleaner
air and another step toward our goal of reducing B.C.'s current greenhouse gas
emission levels by 33 per cent by 2020, to 10 per cent below 1990 levels."
    Overall, the Province of British Columbia will receive $635.6 million by
2010 through the Gas Tax Agreement.
    "This investment through the Gas Tax fund will benefit all communities in
Metro Vancouver," said President Gimse. "A bigger fleet means improved service
and more riders."
    "Revenue from the Gas Tax Agreement helps us expand our bus fleet, and
also gives us the financial capacity to move to more environmentally friendly
models," said Chair Brodie. "We thank the federal government for helping
municipalities and major urban regions to maintain and improve their
infrastructure while also promoting sustainability and environmental
benefits."
    The total cost of the 199 new buses will be $139 million. TransLink will
cover the remaining cost. Previous contributions from the Gas Tax Agreement
had helped TransLink to purchase 258 new buses in 2006 and 2007. Today's
announcement follows on delivery of $40.3 million in funding through the
federal Public Transit Agreement in the fall of 2006 which contributed to the
purchase of 34 SkyTrain cars and 24 community shuttles.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion "Building Canada" plan, Canada's
New Government will provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to help
meet infrastructure needs across Canada. As part of this plan, the Government
of Canada extended the Gas Tax Fund by an additional $2 billion per year
nationally from 2010 to 2014. The Gas Tax Agreement is administered in British
Columbia by the Union of BC Municipalities.
    Please visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or www.civicnet.bc.ca for
background information on the Canada - BC - UBCM Gas Tax Agreement.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary to the Honourable
Lawrence Cannon, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Marc
Black, Communications Manager, Ministry of Community Services, (250) 356-6334;
Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor, Union of BC
Municipalities, (250) 356-2938; Ken Hardie, TransLink, Director of
Communications, (604) 453-4606


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