Eleven public transit systems in Nova Scotia will be improved thanks to the government of Canada’s investment of $37.5 million. The announcement was made today, Nov. 24, by Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and ACOA, on behalf of Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. These investments towards public transit infrastructure will help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, as well as help reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Transit services that will benefit from the federal funding include Metro Transit in Halifax Regional Municipality, Cape Breton Transit, Kings Transit (Kings County and surrounding area), and eight other community transit organizations. Eligible capital investments may include the purchase of buses and accessible transit vehicles, the construction of new terminals and maintenance facilities, and the acquisition of improved computerized systems for transit services. “Reliable and efficient public transit is key to ensuring environmentally sound, vibrant, and healthy communities,” said Mr. MacKay. “The government of Canada recognizes that improving public transit use can help reduce congestion, lower automobile emissions, and make our communities more livable by supporting their economic, social, and cultural development.” “Today’s investments will help improve our public transit systems in both urban and rural Nova Scotian communities,” said Mr. Muir. “They support healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities, as well as help protect our environment. They also reduce isolation through better access to employment, education, medical services, and community and social events.” The funds include more than $11.7 million from the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Public Transit Funds, and $25.8 million to Nova Scotia through the federal Public Transit Capital Trust. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations will administer the distribution of these funds, primarily based on ridership. Public transit providers will likely receive funding before March 31, 2007. “We are delighted that the Canadian government is investing in public transit systems throughout Nova Scotia,” said Russell Walker, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. “Larger transit services, which include HRM, Kings, and CBRM, will be able to provide improved services, and rural communities will be able to enhance accessible services to seniors, persons with disabilities, and the disadvantaged.” Through Budget 2006, the government of Canada has provided $1.3 billion in dedicated funding for public transit across Canada. Nationally, $900 million was provided through the Public Transit Capital Trust and $400 million was committed through the Public Transit Fund. For more information about the transit funding announced today, please call 1-902-424-2088. For more information on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure initiatives in Nova Scotia, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.