Funding announced for St. Albert transit projects

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Nearly $11 million in federal funding has been earmarked for transit projects in St. Albert under a new partnership between the federal and provincial governments.

The money is not attached to specific projects yet, and projects would have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible.

The funding is part of the public transit stream in a bilateral agreement between the federal and provincial governments, which will see more than $3.3 billion in federal funding come to Alberta over the next decade.

Of that, $2.1 billion will go to public transit projects across the province and $1 billion will go to green infrastructure. There are also funding streams for community, culture and recreation infrastructure; and infrastructure in rural and northern communities.

Projects will be cost-shared with the provincial government, municipalities and other partners.

A provincial news release issued April 6 states St. Albert will receive $10.9 million under the public transit stream “to build new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way residents live, move and work.”

The public transit stream aims to support new construction, while rehabilitation projects would have a funding cap. Some of the projects it can be used for include new buses, light rail transit, bike and walking paths, and improved accessibility for buses and transit stations.

Spruce Grove-St. Albert MLA Trevor Horne said there are plenty of potential projects in St. Albert that could be supported under the various funding streams.

“There’s a lot of money for things like green infrastructure (and) active transportation, and I know those have been conversations floating around St. Albert in the past few years,” he said.

“There’s funding for public transit that could definitely be leveraged toward our fleet and toward various projects for that.”

Horne said it’s possible the public transit money could help if St. Albert decides to pursue adding more electric buses to its fleet, although specific projects will be up to the city.

He said the collaboration between the provincial and federal governments means there should be enough money available that municipalities can afford projects they may not be able to do on their own.

“It’s definitely something that’s very good to see, that there’s some opportunities for all three levels of government to come together and leverage some of our priorities and projects that would be much more challenging for any one level to take on on their own,” he said.

“I’m definitely happy to see that there’s the co-operation there.”

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April Hudson

April Hudson joined the Gazette in 2017. She writes about city issues and municipal politics. She also writes general news and features.