COWICHAN VALLEY, BC, Aug. 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Investing in public infrastructure supports efficient, affordable and sustainable transit services that help British Columbians and their families get to work, school and essential services on time and back home safely at the end of a long day.
Today, the governments of Canada and British Columbia, along with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and BC Transit announced that a site has been selected for the new BC Transit operations and maintenance facility in the Cowichan Valley, in the Koksilah Industrial Park at the corner of Polkey Road and Boal Road. The proposed new building will include safety features to support the future introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) technology.
The centrality of the new location provides excellent access to key transportation corridors for BC Transit vehicles, while the 4.5 acre lot, almost double that of the existing facility land, will help provide capacity for future expansion of transit services.
The new facility will help support the increasing popularity of sustainable public transportation in the region. Since 2000, Cowichan Valley Transit System ridership has risen over 140 per cent, increasing from 195,000 to 470,000 trips taken annually. The fleet size has also increased over 180 percent from 11 buses in 2000 to 31 currently, and it is projected the fleet size will grow to 50 buses by 2033.
The project represents a $15 million commitment in the Cowichan Valley Transit System, and will position the region to meet future demands for transportation, in addition to improving operational efficiency. The new facility is part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June 2016.
"We have seen demand for sustainable and reliable public transportation grow considerably in urban and rural regions throughout our country, including right here in the Cowichan Valley. The Government of Canada will continue to support public infrastructure projects that increase safety for transit users, and help British Columbia meet the transit needs of residents now and into the future."
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi,
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"Our government is committed to making life more affordable for British Columbians, and public transit is a key service which contributes towards this goal. This site selection will help the Cowichan Valley to meet the growing demand for transit, and the CNG plans will make this a greener, cleaner venture. I look forward to seeing the improvements to infrastructure this project will deliver."
The Honourable Claire Trevena,
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure of British Columbia
"The Cowichan Valley Transit System has experienced exceptional growth. This investment opportunity allows us to plan for anticipated future growth of our transit system, while leveraging the most significant federal and provincial contribution available to reduce local taxpayers contributions towards this project."
Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board Chair
"This new transit facility will support the growing transit needs of the Cowichan Valley. BC Transit, through our local, provincial and federal partnerships, enables the delivery of effective and efficient transit solutions in the Cowichan Valley".
BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer
- The Government of Canada is providing up to $6.5 million to this project and the Province of British Columbia is providing up to $4.29 million through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. The Province of British Columbia is providing an additional funding contribution of $1.54 million to the project for land acquisition and the Cowichan Valley Regional District is responsible for any remaining costs.
- Provincial and federal funding for the Cowichan Valley Regional District means the addition of modern buses with improved technology, including closed-circuit TV (CCTV) to improve the safety of passengers and drivers, and automatic passenger counters that will enable BC Transit to optimize service delivery, based on informed data.
- The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
- $25.3 billion of this funding will support public transit projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
For more information on the project, please visit BCTransit.com/cowichan-valley.
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
For further information: Brook Simpson, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, 613-219-0149, [email protected]; Media Relations, British Columbia Government Communications and Public Engagement, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, 250 356-8241; Cynthia Lockrey, Manager Strategic Services, Cowichan Valley Regional District, 250-746-2635, [email protected]; Jonathon Dyck, Communications Manager, BC Transit, [email protected], 250-995-5720; Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, Toll free: 1-877-250-7154, Email: [email protected], Twitter: @INFC_eng, Web: Infrastructure Canada