City of Medicine Hat receives federal funding for pair of transit projects

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat has received nearly $2.7 million in federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Public Transit Infrastructure Stream, which supports two City and Medicine Hat Transit (MHT) projects.

The projects will provide transit bus replacements and a transit scheduling system to MHT. The Government of Canada’s contribution of $2,669,586 accounts for approximately 33 per cent of a total eligible cost of $8,156,000. The City of Medicine Hat will provide the remaining $5,486,414.

“As communities in Alberta continue to grow, it is vital to have active and rural public transportation infrastructure that meets their evolving needs,” said the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government’s investment will encourage Albertans to be active and healthy and contribute to a cleaner environment, creating more resilient and stronger communities for everyone.”

Transit Bus Replacements

The majority of ICIP funding has been allocated to the Transit Bus Replacements project, which has an overall cost of $8,060,000; $2,631,186 from the Government of Canada and $5,428,814 from the City of Medicine Hat.

The purpose of the project is to replace aging transit assets in a timely, yet fiscally responsible manner so that residents can continue to receive a steady, reliable level of service. The City of Medicine Hat will replace 12 transit assets; two para-transit buses and ten additional buses.

“The City would like to recognize the Government of Canada for their thoughtfulness and foresight in creating this funding stream,” said Cory Earle, Manager of Fleet Services with the City of Medicine Hat. “Replacing transit assets is a necessary, yet costly undertaking for municipalities. With this funding, the City can maintain the quality and longevity of our transit fleet in a cost-effective manner.”

The para-transit buses are tentatively scheduled to arrive in late 2024 or early 2025. The other ten buses are anticipated to be replaced at a rate of two per year from 2025 to 2029, though these timelines are subject to change.

Transit Scheduling System

The remaining $38,400 in federal funding will go towards the Transit Scheduling System project. The City of Medicine Hat will provide $57,600 of the $96,000 project cost.

This project includes the one-time purchase of four years of consulting and scheduling services, along with related data reporting tools. It will utilize the Computer-Aided Dispatch / Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) system which connects transit vehicles to scheduling and dispatching software. The software collects vital data used by dispatchers for the purpose of improving the quality and efficiency of the City’s existing public transit.

“Medicine Hat Transit evaluates service levels regularly to ensure they are applying their resources most effectively to provide safe, reliable and inclusive options within the budget of all Medicine Hat residents,” said Gordon Dykstra, Manager of Transit Services with the City of Medicine Hat. “With this software and consulting service made possible with funding from the Government of Canada, residents can be sure the quality, reliability and value of this service will be maintained for years to come.”

The City anticipates the software will be operational and in use in advance of the annual September shift schedule change.

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