The federal government announced that local infrastructure upgrades are coming to over 50 communities across Alberta, including Airdrie, through 48 active and rural public transportation projects after a combined investment of more than $60 million from the federal government and recipients.

Airdrie will receive $50,000 of federal funding from the Active Transportation Fund (ATF), for an Active Transportation Strategy Development.

"The City’s first active transportation plan will establish principles and objectives, policy framework, service and design standards, goals for legacy infrastructure, and a 10-year implementation, phasing, and investment plan."

An additional $25,000 in funding will come from municipal funding. The announcement was made by Minister Randy Boissonnault and the Mayor of Red Deer, Ken Johnston on Wednesday.

"As communities in Alberta continue to grow, it is vital to have active and rural public transportation infrastructure that meets their evolving needs. 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," said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages Boissonnault.

The Bow Valley region of Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise will benefit from three new accessible electric transit buses and a charging station, which will improve traffic flow for commuters and visitors to this busy area in the National Park. Similarly, in areas such as Cochrane, Rocky View County, and Medicine Hat, the upgrades or enhancements of transit vehicles will benefit the surrounding communities.

Other local areas that received funding include:

  • The Village of Beiseker. the City of Chestermere, the Town of Cochrane, the Town of Crossfield, the Town of Irricana, and Rocky View County. They will receive $475,000 from the Rural Transit Solutions Fund (RTSF) for the expansion of a wheelchair-accessible rural Community bus fleet in Rocky View County and the Area.

"The Rocky View Regional Handy Bus Society will purchase five new accessible buses to establish a more reliable and broader transit system in Crossfield, Chestermere, Cochrane, Rocky View County, Beiseker, Irricana, Redwood Meadows and potentially link the communities to Calgary."

Additional funding totalling $118,750 will come from the Rocky View Regional Handibus Society.

  • The Town of Didsbury will receive $50,000 from the ATF for a Pedestrian Connectivity Master Plan.

"The Town of Didsbury will develop a sustainable plan for a more connected, safe, and accessible pedestrian infrastructure network within Didsbury."

  • The Town of Olds will receive $50,000 from the ATF for Creating a Connected Community.

"The Town of Olds will review existing plans to determine the best way to create a network of multi-use trails, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and safe crossings."

  • The Municipal District of Rocky View County will receive $37,321 from the ATF for the West Bragg Creek Paving Phase 2.2.

"The Bragg Creek Trails Association will pave the final 1.4 kilometres of the West Bragg Creek Trail segment going from Meadow View Road to Range Road 54."

An additional $121,369 will come from Rocky View County, while $87,082 will come from the TransCanada Trail Foundation.

  • The Municipal District of Rocky View County will also receive $190,131 from the ATF for the West Bragg Creek Trail Paving Phase 3.

"The Bragg Creek Trails Association will pave 1.7km of the West Bragg Creek Trail along RR54 to complete the 10.1km regional pathway.."

Additional funding totalling $126,754 will come from the Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program.

  • The Town of Banff, the Town of Canmore and the Hamlet of Lake Louise will receive $3,938,000 from the RTSF for the purchase of vehicles and supporting infrastructure.

"The Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission will purchase three accessible electric transit buses and a multi-dispenser charging station for an existing transit service run by Roam in Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise to address traffic issues and pollution and support resident mobility and employment access throughout the Bow Valley region."

Additional municipal funding will total $984,500.

"Other rural and Indigenous communities receiving funding will benefit from improvements to existing pathway systems and crosswalk infrastructure. Funding will also support better public transit services with new energy-efficient and accessible vehicles, upgraded equipment and improvements to bus stops, and rural transit planning studies and routes," a news release stated.

According to the federal government, it is investing a total of $36,301,698 through the Active Transportation Fund (ATF), the Rural Transit Solutions Fund (RTSF) and the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

"The ATF is providing $18,438,784 of this investment for 31 projects, $15,193,328 of this investment is through RTSF in support of 15 projects, and $2,669,586 is through PTIS for two projects. Municipalities and associated funding partners are contributing a total of $24,892,275 to their respective projects."

Since 2015, the federal government said it has committed over $30 billion for public transit and active transportation projects.

"These historic investments have resulted in close to 2000 projects across the country. Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and environmental assessment obligations."

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