A $50-million investment from the federal government will fund 114 transit projects in southwestern Ontario including bringing 24 new "clean diesel" buses to Windsor's streets.
The funding was announced in London, Ont. on Friday, in support of public transit across Ontario.
Buses in Windsor are meant to survive a 12-year lifecycle, but according to Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore, many have been on the road well beyond their expected life span — one bus even dates back to 1991.
The older buses carry high repair costs and have emissions issues which have a negative impact on the environment, but the new investment means they can be replaced soon despite a high price tag for new vehicles of around $520,000.
"We were able to buy three years-worth of buses all at once and have half of it funded by the federal government so it's a huge, huge benefit," he explained.
The total investment in Windsor comes in at $10.2-million and will support a variety of projects including a service review, restoration of bus shelters and new LED signs.
Delmore said he hopes changes can be made to the transit authority's aging infrastructure which is "getting a little concerning."
"This has really helped us to jump back into the game of providing public transit at the level we should be," he added.
Other transit projects that will receive funding:
- More than $600,000 for projects including emergency response stations, new sidewalks and new solar packages at existing stations.
- More than $99,000 to prepare a new transit plan and extend a sidewalk on Oak Street West.
- More than $26-million for projects including replacing all 380 bus shelters, Shift Rapid Transit Engineering and improving paths and parking lots.
- More than $1.7-million for improvements including 12 new buses of various types, facility updates and the installation of 240 concrete pads.
- More than $94,000 to replace the current community transit bus.