- The Canadian government and the City of Toronto announced they will buy more than 1,700 new buses and revitalize another 695 as part of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Bus Purchase and Bus Rebuild project.
- Toronto will spend $492 million CAD (about $383 million USD), while the national government is providing $442 million CAD (about $344 million USD) through its Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. Of those buses, 729 will be clean diesel, 254 will be second generation hybrid electric buses and 60 are battery electric buses.
- "We're committed to working with municipalities and the federal government to invest in public transit, to reduce congestion, enhance service and improve the environment," Ontario Minister of Transportation Kathryn McGarry said in a statement.
This action represents a major investment from both the national and city governments and is one of the largest such projects in the city’s history. It is perhaps significant Toronto is also the only Canadian city on the shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2, with reliable public transportation high on the company’s list of priorities for its second headquarters location.
It will also be heartening for public transportation supporters to see this investment comes from the 2016 Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, an agreement between the federal and provincial governments to specifically invest in public transportation. "Together, we will make Toronto's transit system faster, stronger, safer and more accessible to everyone in every part of our city," Mayor John Tory said in a statement. That accessibility will be crucial when Sidewalk Labs launches its Toronto smart city project, with testing set to begin this summer.
And in addition to this Toronto-specific investment, more than $10 million CAD will be invested in 15 projects across Ontario, including 10 in Toronto and another in the city of Burlington. These projects, which include the likes of street improvements, adding bicycle facilities and wayfinding, reflect what Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said is the "government's commitment to improve infrastructure across Canada," according to a statement.