Barrie’s transit plans get fed cash

“We believe that these investments will help to improve operational efficiency and quality of services for our residents and is the first step to increasing transportation ridership.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman

Barrie’s plans for a new transit garage are getting an infusion of federal cash, as much as $5.8 million through the P3 Canada Fund.
The funds, MP Patrick Brown said at a press conference today (Thursday), will improve transit services in Barrie by contributing to the Barrie Transit Facility Project. (Read this City Scene Barrie story on the new transit garage and key objectives of the transit strategy).

“A strong transit system is key to enhancing and strengthening a local economy. With the P3 approach, the City of Barrie will receive a new transit facility on time and on budget and will be moving the operations and maintenance of its bus fleet to a performance-based contract which will provide higher quality bus operations and services to residents in our community.”

Mayor Jeff Lehman was present for the announcement. Barrie’s share of the capital costs of the project will be up to $17.7 million. A key component of the performance-based strategy is to contract the design, construction and operation of the city’s transit system to a private interest.
“The City of Barrie is proud to partner with the Government of Canada to provide Barrie residents with much needed upgrades to our transit facilities,” said Lehman. “We believe that these investments will help to improve operational efficiency and quality of services for our residents and is the first step to increasing transportation ridership.”
The P3 (public-private partnerships) Canada Fund was launched in 2009. The fund is attracting growing interest from municipalities “considering P3s as alternative means to delivering community-based infrastructure,” said Greg Melchin, chair of PPP Canada.
“The City of Barrie is demonstrating another innovative P3 approach to delivering high-quality services that will meet the needs of Barrie residents now and in the years to come.”

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