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City of Toronto and federal government spending nearly $1B on buses

Last Updated Apr 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory speaks at a press conference held to announce nearly $1 billion in infrastructure spending to purchase new buses for the TTC. CITYNEWS

The federal government and City of Toronto will spend $934 million on purchasing new buses and refurbishing old ones in the fleet.

Mayor John Tory and federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi made the announcement at a press conference on Monday morning.

Sohi called the move a “historic investment” as Tory nodded in agreement, adding that it was one of the largest bus purchases the federal government has ever supported.

“As a former bus driver, I understand the importance of having safe, accessible, reliable buses to get people from school, from work and of families spending more time together,” said Sohi.

Tory added that the investment illustrates the good that can come from cooperation between all levels of government. He said the city is spending more than $492 million, while the federal government is investing $442 million to purchase 1,043 new buses and refurbish 695 buses in the existing fleet.

“Buses are the backbone of our transit system,” said Tory. “Buses bring transit into every corner of every neighbourhood in the city”

Tory also addressed the environmental impact of buses, adding that electric buses are covered in the newly announced partnership.

30 electric buses will be purchased from three different manufacturers. They will be assessed over a period of time to determine which of them work best for the city and its needs.

“I think that too is going to be a very important step forward in terms of our goal in achieving am emissions free fleet by 2040 and getting well on the way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the operation of our public transit fleet,” said Tory.

The money for the purchases comes from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, which was first announced in the federal 2016 budget.

With files from The Canadian Press