London will be receiving more than $100 million in provincial funding to assist with 10 transit projects approved by city council in March.
Infrastructure Minister Laurie Scott announced the funding on Tuesday during a news conference at the London Transit Commission’s Highbury Avenue headquarters.
The 10 projects come with a price tag of $383 million, with the biggest costs coming from three portions of an unbundled version of London’s contentious bus rapid transit plan. Those portions include the south-stretching Wellington Road Gateway, the Downtown Loop and the East London Link.
Other provincially supported projects include the purchase of 31 new buses, smart traffic signals and bus stop amenities.
Also at Tuesday’s announcement was Environment Minister Jeff Yurek, who worked on Ontario’s transportation file up until last week.
Yurek said the province did its due diligence in making sure the funding was well deserved.
“Our key objective was to make sure it was good for the City of London, good for the province, but also that it was connecting to jobs,” Yurek.
“We had a bit of back and forth with the City of London. We had questions, and they, of course, responded quite quickly.”
With provincial support and environmental assessments now in the bag, all that’s left is for London to receive a financial thumbs up from Ottawa.
Mayor Ed Holder told Global News Radio 980 CFPL that he’s absolutely hopeful the city will be able to make its final transit funding step.
“If any of these projects require Treasury Board approval, and there may be at least one, the Treasury Board still has a few weeks to deliberate before they disband and take their summer commitments across the country,” Holder said.
“I’m confident that we have enough time to get it done.”
If all goes to plan, city staff say construction could begin as early as next year, with the bus rapid transit portions of the plan slated to begin in 2021.
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