The Government of Canada invests in public transit for healthier, more liveable communities in Alberta



    CALGARY, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today announced
$52.9 million in funding for capital investments to improve public transit in
Alberta. The announcement was made by the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of
Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities.
    "Public transit plays an important role in easing traffic congestion in
urban areas and contributes to cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas
emissions," said Minister Prentice. "Today's announcement demonstrates what
can be achieved when governments work together. The Government of Canada will
continue to work with the Province of Alberta and municipalities to ensure
that local needs are addressed."
    "Given the rapid growth of our cities, this funding commitment to expand
and improve public transit is very welcome," said Luke Ouellette, Minister of
Alberta Transportation.
    The Province of Alberta will provide funds to the 11 municipalities with
public transit systems, to support capital investments. Each of these
municipalities will receive a base amount of $300,000, with the remainder of
the funding allocated based on ridership. Calgary has indicated that its
$28-million funding share will be used to upgrade CTrain light rail transit
(LRT) stations. Edmonton is planning to dedicate its $18.4-million allocation
towards the north LRT expansion project. Alberta's proposed funding
allocations are:

    
             - Airdrie                                $   307,723
             - Calgary                                $28,018,059
             - Edmonton                               $18,414,064
             - Grande Prairie                         $   475,997
             - Lethbridge                             $ 1,015,232
             - Medicine Hat                           $   620,023
             - Red Deer                               $ 1,370,231
             - St. Albert                             $   659,571
             - Strathcona County                      $   936,615
             - Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo  $   672,132
             - Banff                                  $   410,353
    

    "The Government of Canada is taking decisive action to support public
transit in the country. Funding for transit has greatly increased in recent
years, currently reaching over $1 billion per year. Sound investments in
public transit can improve mobility and help get people out of their cars,
which reduces traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,"
added Minister Cannon. "In addition to the environmental value, these
investments benefit the economy and quality of life in cities and
communities."
    Budget 2008 announced that $500 million would be provided to continue to
support public transit infrastructure projects. Funding will be paid into a
third-party trust, allocated on a provincial-territorial per capita basis and
used towards priority projects. The Public Transit Capital Trust 2008 will be
used for specific projects, such as rapid transit, rail, transit buses, and
high-occupancy vehicle and bicycle lanes. The funds will be delivered in trust
to the Province of Alberta once legislation has been passed.
    Alberta will have the flexibility to draw from the funding as needed over
the next two years. The beneficiaries are also encouraged to report publicly
on the expenditures financed through the trust and on outcomes achieved.
    This trust is in addition to the long-term funding available for public
transit projects under the government's $33-billion Building Canada
Infrastructure Plan, including the Gas Tax Fund, which was made permanent in
Budget 2008.




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and
speeches at apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up to date on the latest from
Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative
formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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