$6.6M announced to fund 43 transit projects across Manitoba

Smaller towns and cities across Manitoba are set to benefit from additional transit dollars to purchase buses and handi-transit vans, along with building bus shelters.

Winnipeg South Centre member of Parliament Jim Carr, along with Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke and Association of Manitoba Municipalities president Chris Goertzen, made the $6.6 million transit announcement Friday in Winnipeg.

The investment will benefit 43 Manitoba communities, including Brandon, Selkirk and Thompson, officials said.

Ottawa has agreed to cover roughly 50 per cent of costs. The province will pay for 25 per cent and municipalities will cover the rest.

Communities from "Arborg and Argyle to Swan River and Ste. Rose" will benefit, Carr said.

"Our vision is global in scope but its impact is local, with modern and resilient neighbourhoods."

The transit projects will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and commute times, said Carr. 

The federal dollars come out of an $180-billion infrastructure fund first announced in the 2016 budget and enhanced in the 2017 budget.

Ottawa is currently in talks with provinces to figure out how to spend the money over the next 12 years on infrastructure projects across Canada.

Clarke said it was "extremely important" that the federal government has been a "willing partner" in investing in new public transit in Manitoba.

This will not be the last Manitoba transit announcement to come out of the $180-billion fund, said Carr.

While Winnipeg did not directly benefit from Friday's announcement, Carr indicated the city will likely see help with its rapid transit expansion project.

"There will be lots of additional announcements," he promised.