Mississauga Receives Federal Funding for Bus Rapid Transit Program



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 6 /CNW/ - The City of Mississauga has received a
promise of federal funding toward construction of its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
program. The announcement was made today at Downsview Park by Prime Minister
Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Today's announcement calls
for the construction of the Mississauga BRT corridor, with both governments
committing up to a maximum of $173 million.
    Mississauga's BRT is a provincially-planned rapid transit network,
designed in conjunction with GO Transit as an exclusive roadway for buses. It
will be designed as a bus-only road along Highway 403 and Eastgate Parkway
from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Renforth Drive, offering high-speed
transit to the GTA's second largest city. Many stations will offer Park 'n'
Ride and Kiss-n-Ride features.
    "Getting people out of their cars and onto public transit is the only way
to reduce automobile emissions and to end gridlock," said Mayor Hazel
McCallion. "The federal funding for our BRT Program is welcomed. We still
however need a long-term, sustainable, predictable strategy to address the
urgent gridlock issues in our city, across the GTA, and in cities across
Canada."
    While supportive of the federal announcement, Mayor Hazel McCallion urged
the federal government to do more by supporting the long-term national transit
strategy announced at yesterday's Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM)
Big City Mayors' Caucus in Montreal.
    "We need an immediate, major infusion of funds to have an immediate
impact on the gridlock in the GTA which is increasing every day - more buses
on the road, and a major expansion of GO Transit to serve the people," added
McCallion.
    The estimated cost for Mississauga's portion of the BRT is $259 million,
with cost-sharing between the City of Mississauga, GO Transit, the provincial
government and the federal government. In 2006, the City of Mississauga
received $63 million from the provincial government toward construction of the
Mississauga segment of the BRT.
    Mississauga will be responsible for construction of the BRT link from
Centreview Drive to Hurontario Street, and for the fully grade-separated BRT
from Cawthra Road to Renforth Station. Of the federal funding pledged today,
$58 million is required from the federal government for Mississauga's portion
of the BRT.
    "We are really pleased with today's funding announcement from the federal
government which will allow us to begin design and construction of the BRT,"
said Commissioner of Transportation & Works Martin Powell. "We've been ready
for some time to move on the BRT. The environmental assessment has been
approved by the province and our BRT Project Office is open and ready to go.
Today's announcement means that we can begin construction on the BRT, with an
expected completion date of 2012, with portions of the BRT in place by 2009."
    The City of Mississauga and GO Transit are initiating construction of the
Mississauga Segment of the BRT in two key sections: from Winston Churchill to
Erin Mills Parkway (BRT West), and from City Centre to Renforth Drive (BRT
East). The City of Mississauga will lead construction of BRT East, which will
run through the City Centre toward Toronto along the Highway 403/Eglinton
Avenue corridor, with service connections into the Bloor subway via
Highway 427.

    Mississauga is Canada's sixth largest city with a population of over
700,000. With well-established infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities,
the City delivers quality municipal programs and services to its citizens.
Mississauga is recognized as Canada's safest city.





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Marie Rochon, Team Leader,
Media/External Communications, City of Mississauga, (905) 615-3200, ext. 5818


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