August 15, 2002
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York today received $6.6 million in transit funding from the provincial government to help increase service and purchase new vehicles for York Region Transit (YRT).
"Today's announcement is tremendous news," said Bill Fisch, York Region Chair and CEO. "The funds also mark an important first step toward transit expansion and future transit initiatives, including the York Rapid Transit Plan."
Awarded under the Province's Golden Horseshoe Transit Investment Partnership (GTIP) program, the money will be earmarked for projects identified as a priority in YRT's Five Year Service Plan. In total, the projects will cost $20 million.
The funds will be used toward the purchase of 36 new conventional transit buses and 10 new specialized transit buses. The buses will operate inter-regionally and will provide service to Toronto Transit Commission subway stations in northern Toronto, including Downsview and Finch stations, plus the new Don Mills station on the new Sheppard subway line.
Funds will also be used to upgrade scheduling software for both conventional and specialized systems. Bus bays at the new Centennial GO Station in the Town of Markham will also be built.
"This marks an important milestone in the commitment we have made for York Region Transit through the Five Year Service Plan," said Newmarket Regional Councillor Diane Humeniuk, Chair of the York Region Transit Committee. "This will benefit York Region Transit, and it will benefit current and future riders of our system."
"York Region Transit can now proceed with plans to add more buses, increase the frequency of service to existing routes and create additional inter-regional transit links," said Don Gordon, General Manager, York Region Transit.
Earlier this year, York Region submitted two applications to the Province of Ontario for transit funding under the $1.25 billion GTIP program. One focused on short-term inter-regional transit improvements and technology and service innovation. The second submission seeks funding for the York Rapid Transit Plan, the centrepiece of the York Region Transportation Master Plan.
In June, York Regional Council signed an agreement with York Consortium 2002 to create a Public-Private Partnership and fast track the development of the YRTP. The YRTP will focus on providing rapid transit on four corridors connecting four regional centres:
Light Rail Transit, Bus Rapid Transit and subways are all under consideration for the YRTP. Decisions on technology will be made in consultation with all private and public sector partners. The transit plan will also complement an expanded GO Transit system.
Details on Phase 2 of the GTIP program, which will deal with longer-term projects, are expected in the near future.
For more information on York Region Transit, the York Rapid Transit Plan and the Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca
Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region