Monday, August 09, 2021 - 10:15 AM

Funding in Place for 18 New Paratransit Vehicles

Mayor Breen stands in front of Metrobus with a tv camera and microphone in foreground

On August 6, 2021, Mayor Breen joined the Honourable Bernard Davis, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl at Metrobus for an announcement on joint funding to replace St. John’s paratransit vehicles.

Through this investment, the paratransit fleet of buses used in the GoBus service in St. John’s and Mount Pearl will be replaced with Metrobus purchasing up to 18 new accessible paratransit vehicles. 

The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.1 million in this project through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing over $755,000, while the City of St. John’s is contributing more than $377,000.

"Ensuring that all residents of all ages and abilities have access to safe and affordable transportation is critical to the health of our community," said Mayor Breen. "As part of our 10-year strategic plan, the City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely and includes the goal to create a sustainable and accessible public transportation system."

In 2019, the City released a Public Transit Review, which provided an in-depth look at the transit system, including public feedback, strategic analysis, and suggestions for continuous improvement.

Since that time, a number of improvement measures have been implement at Metrobus and GoBus, including:

  • free bus passes to residents on income-support (through a provincial partnership program)
  • children 12 and under now ride Metrobus & GoBus for free, making public transit more affordable for families
  • transit signal priority at a number of intersections within the city, including a queue-jump lane at Freshwater Road/Stamps Lane allowing us to maintain and improve on-time performance and reliability
GoBus will soon implement a new  on-demand scheduling software service that will further improve service for GoBus customers.

"The frequent transit network - to improve frequency on core Metrobus routes - has been delayed due to COVID and is up for budget discussion again this fall," explained Mayor Breen.

"I am also excited to share that we are also doing research and preparing a plan that will allow us to build a network and maintain a fleet of electric buses in the future. That plan is expected to be finalized in 2022."