City of Barrie to get federal, provincial funds for “transformative” transit projects

Twenty-one accessible buses, Allandale Hub, bike racks among the big ticket items

Several City of Barrie transit initiatives are getting a financial boost from the federal and provincial governments.

In a virtual media conference held Monday, funding to the tune of $40.5 million was announced for several transit projects, including the purchase of 30 new buses for the city. Twenty-one of those would be accessible.

“This is transformational,” said Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte MPP Doug Downey during the online announcement. “This is really important. Thirty conventional city buses, and 21 of them specialized paratransit city buses for people with disabilities to help get around our city and our area more efficiently.”

The money will also go towards the city’s proposed Allandale Transit Hub, a new building at the site of the GO train station now. “I know the hub will probably get a lot of attention because that’s a new bus building that we’re going to build at the Allendale go station to allow people to transfer from Barrie Transit or GO Transit onto the rail system as well as onto the go bus system,” said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman during the virtual media conference.

“With some of the infrastructure improvements such as bike racks, and the new mobility hub at the Allendale go station, you’re going to be able to switch between modes of public or active transportation in ways that you couldn’t before in Barrie,” Lehman added.

The Government of Canada is committing about $16 million to this initiative, the Ontario Government will provide around $13.6 million, while the City of Barrie will make a $10.9 million contribution.