The City of Grande Prairie is figuring out how to spend more than $7 million on its public transit system. The federal and provincial government recently signed an agreement to invest $3.3 billion into infrastructure projects over the next decade, and the Swan City has gotten a piece of the pie.
Assistant transit manager Steve Harvard says the city has been told it’s eligible for $7.3 million in federal funding, but it’s still waiting to hear more on what projects will qualify.
“Once we receive the information, we’ll be bringing forward well thought out proposals for council’s consideration during the budget deliberations. Until we get the specific details from the province we won’t be able to know exactly which projects we’ll be able to move forward on.”
The rules are expected to be rolled out by the end of this month. A number of projects are currently waiting in the wings.
In the past, funding from both levels of government have helped the city buy electric buses and install electronic fare boxes. Those electric buses are expected to arrive late this spring or early this summer.
“I think that a lot of people will be pleased with that in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases and the lack of needing fossil fuels,” Harvard says. “St. Albert has the same type of technology and they’ve gotten some really good results from their buses, so we’re quite eager to get ours on the road.”
Along with the electric buses is a solar power project that will see panels installed on the transit garage to power a battery bank the buses will be charged through. Those are expected to be in place by the end of the year, weather permitting.