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Ontario pays $17.9M bus fare - Metro US

Ontario pays $17.9M bus fare

The provincial government has paid its fare to ride OC Transpo’s new hybrid buses.

Ottawa is getting $17.9 million from the province’s Ontario Bus Replacement Program, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Jim Watson announced Thursday.

That should help pay for around 68 new Orion VII hybrid buses, with the city and the federal governments also contributing one third each to the total.

Last year, the city received $10 million from the bus replacement program.

Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen, chair of the city’s transit committee, said the money has already been calculated into the city budget, and that it will help to pay for 202 hybrid buses that should start rolling into Ottawa in early 2010.

Acting Mayor Michel Bellemare said this funding would help build a more efficient and effective bus fleet for the city.

“New buses means a more reliable and more accessible transit fleet,” he said. “These dollars will allow OC Transpo to move ahead sooner.”

Municipal politicians are still waiting to hear back from the province about funding for the first phase of the rapid transit plan, which includes the tunnel under downtown.

Watson said the provincial transportation minister is reviewing the proposal and he’s hoping to see a recommendation to cabinet in several months.

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