Mar 28, 2007

New Buses Are Fully Accessible -

Canada NewsWire (press release)

McGuinty government's public transit commitment is delivering results in
Durham Region, announced Parliamentary Assistant Phil McNeely on behalf of
Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield, Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson, Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge MPP Wayne Arthurs and Oshawa Regional Councillor and Vice Chair of the Durham Region Transit Commission Nester Pidwerbecki.

"The McGuinty government's record transit investments have resulted in an
increase of almost 900,000 more passenger trips in Durham since 2003," said
McNeely. "We're making it easier for commuters to use public transit. These
new buses mean commuters will have accessible, cleaner, more convenient and expanded transit service."

"Durham Region is working hard to make our transit system a viable,
reliable, convenient alternative to the car in our communities. These 30 new
buses will accelerate our program toward that goal," said Anderson.

The 30 new fully accessible and environmentally-friendly low floor buses
delivered today cost approximately $14 million. The Province's contribution
comes from sharing Ontario's gas tax revenue and $10.6 million in one-time
transit vehicle funding.

"This is great news for commuters in Durham Region," said Arthurs.
"Thanks to the successful gas tax program, transit ridership is up by 14 per
cent in Durham Region. By improving our public transit systems, we're
improving our quality of life."

"Newer vehicles with air conditioning, clean diesel engines and
accessibility features are attractive options for new and potential customers.
Public transit is a very affordable alternative to private vehicles," said
Pidwerbecki.

"These new buses will mean more accessible routes in Durham Region and
better and easier service for passengers with wheel-chairs," said Walter
Zutell, Durham Transit Specialized Services Dispatcher and Specialized
Services client. "Unlike Specialized Services, these conventional vehicles do
not require a passenger to call ahead and book a trip. The 'kneeling' feature
and ramp allows easy boarding for wheel chairs and a greater sense of
independence for people with a disability in Durham Region."

The McGuinty government has made record investments to increase transit
ridership and reduce commute times. Other transit investments in Durham Region
include:

- $15.5 million in gas tax funding for municipalities in Durham Region
since 2003

- $2.5 million to help Durham Region develop a regional rapid transit
plan

- $10.6 million to purchase more buses

- $2.9 million this year in funding to replace municipal transit buses

- GO Transit service and infrastructure improvements including over
1,200 additional parking spots at GO Train stations in Oshawa,
Whitby, and Ajax since 2003.


"The McGuinty government has delivered on its commitment to increase
transit ridership, and give municipalities a stable source of funding they can
count on," added McNeely.

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