Governments working together to improve the environment and keep commuters moving in the Greater Toronto Area



    TORONTO, March 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The first shipment of the next
generation of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) hybrid buses was unveiled today
at the TTC's Malvern Bus Division and Garage by the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Greater
Toronto Area; the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Transportation;
His Worship Mayor David Miller, City of Toronto; and Adam Giambrone, Chair of
the TTC. The buses will clear the air, improving the quality of life for
Toronto-area residents.
    "The Government of Canada is pleased to support the use of hybrid buses,
which will help the environment and keep commuters moving in the Greater
Toronto Area," said Minister Cannon. "These buses demonstrate our government's
commitment to funding greener modes of transportation and improving the health
of our communities."
    "Investing in modern public transit is about preserving our environment
and reducing traffic congestion so goods can get to market on time, improving
our quality of life," said Minister Flaherty. "Our goal is to create a modern,
safe and green transportation system for the benefit of people here in the
Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. Today's announcement takes us further
down that road."
    "Today we are highlighting the kinds of positive public transit results
we can deliver when all three levels of government work together," said
Minister Bradley. "Since 2003, Ontario has committed more than $2.3 billion to
help the TTC make improvements to better serve transit riders."
    "Torontonians have made it clear that they want their city to be among
the world leaders when it comes to the environment," said Mayor Miller.
"Providing more and greener public transit options is essential to reducing
our greenhouse gas emissions and to becoming that city."
    "Torontonians ride transit for its many personal benefits, but they also
ride it because they know it's environmentally efficient and responsible. They
will be further encouraged to take transit knowing that the buses they're
riding have lower emissions and a reduced environmental footprint," said
Councillor Giambrone.
    These new hybrid buses will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the
TTC's bus fleet and contribute to maintaining a safe and efficient transit
system in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The buses are powered through a
combination of diesel fuel and electricity, making them more fuel-efficient,
much quieter on city streets and cheaper to maintain.
    Encouraging more people to use public transit can alleviate traffic
congestion on Toronto's streets and highways, and provide the quality services
needed to meet the demands of Toronto-area commuters.
    Given projected population and economic growth in Canadian communities,
greater use of transit and other sustainable forms of transportation would
reduce the impact of individuals' mobility on the environment.
    Transit can also support more sustainable urban development patterns by
allowing people to live, work and shop without needing to drive as much, and
making more efficient use of existing infrastructure.
    Increased urban density also leads to reduced infrastructure costs.
    Of the 324 hybrid buses to be purchased using federal funding, over 200
have already made their way onto the streets of Toronto. The purchase of these
buses will cost $246 million. They are being built by Orion, a division of
DaimlerChrysler, at its plant in Mississauga, Ontario.
    The Government of Canada is providing up to $115.8 million and the
Province of Ontario provided $110.9 million for the purchase of the hybrid
buses through funding made available from 2005 to 2007.
    The federal contribution comes from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure
Fund, which supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that
improve quality of life and further economic growth.
    As with all federal contributions, funding is reimbursement-based, and
funds are transferred once the contribution agreement has been signed,
eligible costs have been incurred and all federal requirements have been
satisfied.
    Through the Gas Tax Fund, the federal government is providing a further
$407.3 million from 2005 to 2009, which is helping the TTC purchase over
700 clean diesel and hybrid buses, 156 subway cars and 90 Wheel-Trans
vehicles.
    This permanent fund will provide municipalities with a reliable source of
funding that will help them better plan and finance their infrastructure
needs.

    Backgrounders with further information on federal transit funding in the
GTA, provincial transit funding in the GTA and how the City of Toronto uses
federal funding are attached.

    
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                                 Backgrounder
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             FEDERAL TRANSIT FUNDING IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA
             ---------------------------------------------------

    The federal funding for these improvements comes from the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). Through the fund, the Government of Canada works
with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the
private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country.
CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve
quality of life and further economic growth.
    The federal contribution of $303.5 million to the Toronto Transit
Commission (TTC) Strategic Capital Projects will fund improvements in the
following areas:

    - Subway infrastructure - Seventy-eight new subway cars are being
      purchased and repairs or improvements are being made to tracks and
      tunnels; escalators and elevators; fire ventilation; and radio systems.
    - Streetcar infrastructure - Tracks will be repaired or replaced along
      numerous routes and dedicated streetcar lanes will be constructed as
      part of the St. Clair Avenue West Transit Improvement Project.
    - Bus infrastructure - New hybrid buses are being purchased, and bus
      rapid transit links will be constructed from York University to
      Downsview Station and along Yonge Street from Finch Station to Steeles
      Avenue.

    An additional $46.5 million will be available to the TTC upon successful
completion of a proposal for a fare card for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
    In addition to the $350 million the Government of Canada has already
committed to the TTC Strategic Capital Projects funding, the federal
government is providing almost $1 billion in funding through FLOW, the federal
action plan for the GTA. The plan will help reduce congestion, cut commute
times, clean our air and improve the flow of goods and people in the region.
FLOW funds are being allocated as follows:

    - up to $95 million for the Brampton AcceleRide project;
    - up to $83 million for the Mississauga bus rapid transit corridor;
    - up to $85 million for the York VIVA Phase II - Stage I project;
    - up to $697 million to support the extension of the Toronto-York subway;
      and
    - up to $2.5 million to help the Region of Durham develop a long-term
      transit strategy.

    The Government of Canada is also allocating funds to several other
important transit projects in the GTA, including:

    - $385 million for GO Transit; and
    - $50 million for York Region Rapid Transit - VIVA Quick Start.

    In addition, through the Gas Tax Fund, the federal government is providing
$407.3 million from 2005 to 2009, which will permit the TTC to purchase over
700 clean diesel and hybrid buses, 156 subway cars and 90 Wheel-Trans
vehicles.
    The fund was increased to $2 billion per year for a further four years
from 2010 to 2014. Earlier this year, in response to ongoing requests for
stable, long-term funding, Budget 2008 extended the $2-billion-per-year fund
beyond 2014 and made it permanent. This permanent fund will provide
municipalities with a reliable source of funding that will help them better
plan and finance their infrastructure needs.

                           THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
                           -----------------------

    The Ontario government is tackling gridlock to build a strong and
prosperous economy by getting people onto public transit with record
investments and innovation.
    The Government of Ontario invested $303.5 million for TTC capital cost
projects, including:

    - $110.9 million for the purchase of new hybrid vehicles, including
      subway cars and buses, as well as track repairs and improvements;
    - $14.6 million for the construction of dedicated streetcar lanes as part
      of the St. Clair Avenue West Transit Improvement Project; and
    - $13.7 million for the construction of a bus rapid transit corridor from
      York University to Downsview Station and along Yonge Street from Finch
      Station to Steeles Avenue.

    The McGuinty government has made significant investments to strengthen
public transit in Ontario. Since 2003, the government has invested
$5.6 billion in public transit, including $2.3 billion for the TTC and
$1.8 billion for GO Transit. This funding also includes:

    - $670 million in funding for the construction of the Toronto-York
      Spadina subway extension, which will deliver six new subway stations
      extending into the Region of York;
    - gas tax funding - by 2010, the province will have provided $1.6 billion
      in gas tax funding to Ontario municipalities; and
    - the Ontario Bus Replacement Program that provides $50 million annually
      to Ontario municipalities to support the replacement of both
      conventional and specialized municipal transit buses.

    The McGuinty government has also introduced the Presto card, launching the
pilot phase of an integrated fare collection system that will enable commuters
to travel on public transit from Durham to Hamilton using a single transit
card. For more information, visit www.prestocard.ca/.

    MoveOntario 2020

    MoveOntario 2020, the Province of Ontario's $17.5-billion rapid transit
plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, will double the kilometres of
new and improved rapid transit, starting in 2008. MoveOntario 2020 investments
will create hundreds of jobs and remove 300 million car trips from Ontario
roads.
    In addition to record investments in public transit, the Ontario
government will invest $1.6 billion in GO Transit by 2010, including
$530 million to its capital and operating costs in 2007-2008.

    Metrolinx

    Metrolinx (the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority), an agency
created by the Province of Ontario, will deliver a regional transportation
plan to fundamentally improve our quality of life in the Greater Toronto and
Hamilton Area (GTHA). Metrolinx is responsible for prioritizing and
implementing MoveOntario 2020. With a real focus on public transit, people and
businesses will be able to move more easily across the GTHA, making cities
more liveable and the economy stronger, while protecting the environment.
Metrolinx is also developing a transportation investment strategy and rolling
five-year capital plan for the GTHA.

                                                                  March 2008

    Toronto
    Backgrounder

    March 18, 2008

              HOW THE CITY OF TORONTO USES ALLOCATIONS FROM THE
          CANADA STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE FUND AND THE GAS TAX FUND
          ---------------------------------------------------------

    The Government of Canada funding is making significant contributions to
the City of Toronto for the renewal, rehabilitation and expansion of Toronto
Transit Commission (TTC) infrastructure. These funds include:

    - the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), providing up to
      $350 million for transit from 2007 to 2012; and
    - the Federal Gas Tax Transfer (Gas Tax Fund), providing $407.3 million,
      which is being fully allocated to public transit.

    The funding provided by the federal government through these two programs
is contributing to:

    - the purchase of 1,000 new hybrid and clean diesel buses to replace
      aging TTC vehicles and provide increased services as part of the
      Ridership Growth Strategy:
        - These buses will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions with
          improved hybrid and clean diesel technology.
        - Increasing the bus fleet with new vehicles will ensure that
          existing transit riders continue to use public transit and more
          people will use transit because of the increased service.
    - 234 new subway cars;
    - 90 new Wheel-Trans vehicles;
    - Bus Rapid Transit development at:
        - Yonge Street from Finch to Steeles; and
        - Downsview Station to York University;
    - the St. Clair Avenue West Transit Improvement Project;
    - improved accessibility at subway stations; and
    - upgrading of subway and streetcar infrastructure.

    Transit is a cornerstone in the City of Toronto's Climate Change Plan.
Investment in Toronto's transit system improves the environment by reducing
greenhouse gases and air pollution every time a person leaves his or her car
at home and takes transit. It also supports the economy of Toronto and the GTA
by providing an alternative to the car and relieving road congestion.

    Toronto Transit Commission facts

    - The TTC carries 1.47 million riders every day with over 460 million
      riders per year.
    - The TTC carries 85 per cent of the transit riders in the GTA.
    - Twelve per cent of TTC riders live outside the City of Toronto.
    - The TTC is the largest transit system in Canada and the third largest
      in North America, behind New York City and Mexico City.

    Orion VII low-floor hybrid bus facts

    The TTC hybrid electric fleet is the first in Canada and the second
largest in North America, next to that in New York City. By the end of
September 2009, 694 new low-floor diesel hybrid accessible buses will be in
service at the TTC. CSIF will fund 324 hybrid buses.
    Diesel hybrid bus delivery began in 2006 with 150 buses. To date, 270 have
been delivered and by year end the fleet will have a total of 564 hybrid
buses. The buses are being put into service across the city as they are
received and commissioned. The current cost of a low-floor diesel hybrid
accessible bus is $734,000, including all taxes.
    The hybrid system uses an electric propulsion motor to slow the bus down
during the regenerative braking process, capturing the energy and returning it
to the battery system mounted on the roof of the bus. The captured electrical
energy is then used to assist in powering the bus, using its electric
propulsion motor, further adding to the vehicle's efficient use of the small
diesel generator on board the bus.

    - Seats: 38 (or 32 plus 2 wheelchair positions)
    - Length: 40 feet
    - Width: 102 inches
    - Height: 11 feet (to top of roof-mounted battery compartment)
    - Weight: 33,000 lbs.
    - Engine: 6-cylinder, 5.9 litre Cummins ISB Clean Diesel (260 HP)

    Environmental benefits of hybrid bus technology

    - 37 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions
    - 30-50 per cent less harmful particulates
    - 30-50 per cent less nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions
    - 40 tons less carbon dioxide (CO2) per bus each year
    - Lower noise level (3-5 reduction in decibel level)
    - 20-30 per cent less fuel consumption
    - smoother and quieter acceleration

                     Visit our website at www.toronto.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, City of
Toronto, (416) 338-7119; Danny Nicholson, Media Relations, Toronto Transit
Commission, (416) 420-0776; Chisholm Pothier, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, (613) 996-9611;
Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Press Secretary, Office of the Ontario Minister of
Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch,
Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Toronto, (416) 327-1158


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