January 26, 2005

January 26, 2005 York Region receives $500,000 in grants from Federal Government for Intelligent Transportation Systems

 
NEWMARKET – The Government of Canada has announced $500,000 in funding for two York Region intelligent transportation system (ITS) initiatives, as part of Transport Canada’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Plan.  The funding is part of more than $2 million in announcements for 11 projects aimed at helping transportation in Ontario be safer, more reliable and more efficient.
 
The funding includes $250,000 for York Region Transit (YRT) to design and deploy an integrated and unified ITS system for transit services, and $250,000 for the Region to deploy an adaptive traffic control system for the delivery of traffic management and control services.
 
“This funding is welcome news that will help in our efforts to combat traffic congestion in York Region,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “These intelligent transportation system initiatives will help with traffic backlogs at signalized intersections and help transit run more efficiently.”
 
YRT’s portion of the funding will be used to help coordinate its ITS system with Viva, the Region’s new rapid transit service set to begin in September.  Among the different technologies that will be employed include: computer aided dispatch systems, automated vehicle location systems (similar to GPS technology), automated passenger counting systems and real-time on-board and stop passenger information systems. 
 
“For our rapid transit initiative to be a success, it is imperative that we integrate our conventional bus service with our rapid transit bus service,” said Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of the Region’s Transit Committee.  “These ITS funds will go a long way to helping us achieve that goal.”
 
The other half of the funding will be used to help traffic control systems recognize when there is a traffic bottleneck or a build-up of traffic along a particular route.  The technology will be able to re-synchronize signals to help clear traffic backlogs, and keep traffic moving efficiently.
 
“This funding is welcome news for York Region commuters,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “Reducing traffic gridlock has been an ongoing priority, and new signal synchronization technology is a step in the right direction.”

Transport Canada’s ITS Plan is part of the Government of Canada’s $600 million Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program, which dedicates $100 million to funding initiatives that better integrate transportation systems.
 
Since 1999, Transport Canada has provided more than $18 million in support of ITS projects and research in Canada.  The maximum contribution for each ITS project is $250,000.
 
The Region previously received funding from the ITS Plan for $250,000 in 2000, for an ITS traffic management system that manages unexpected incidents on Regional roads.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.york.ca
 
 
 
Media Contact:   Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675 ext. 1232
- e-mail: michael.kemp@york.ca

 
 
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