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The introduction of these new buses means that GO Transit will be able to access four major terminals that are not currently served by double-decker buses due to height restrictions — Hamilton, Yorkdale, York Mills and the Union Station Bus Terminal. This will also enable more people to be served by double-decker buses as the new vehicles are entered into service over the next four years.
Metrolinx has ordered a total of 253 buses from Alexander Dennis Ltd., creating up to 30 new full-time jobs in Ontario. The buses are being partially built at a new facility in Vaughan that began operation earlier this year. Local workers are responsible for building the chassis, installing engines, axles and steering components, and conducting inspections.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, said:”The new accessible, low-floor, low-height GO Transit double-decker buses will make it easier for customers with limited mobility to board, and make access to transit faster and more convenient. Our government is building a modern and integrated transit network in the region to seamlessly connect communities and businesses.”
Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Accessibility, said: “In Ontario, accessible public transit is not just a priority, it is the law. These new double-decker buses will keep people moving and ensure that transportation is integrated and accessible to people of all abilities, now and into the future.”
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. In 2015, the province announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life.
- The new fully accessible double-decker buses feature lower floors, and have longer, more gradual entrance ramps, a wider area for individuals with wheeled mobility aids to maneuver, and automated next-stop announcements and display technology.
- The entire order of 253 buses will be delivered and put into service over the course of the next four years.
- Approximately 25 per cent of the GO Bus fleet is currently served by double-decker buses, increasing to 75 per cent within four years.
- The new double-decker buses seat 81 passengers, compared to 55 on GO’s single-level buses. This is consistent with seating capacity on GO’s existing double-decker buses.
- Since 2003, Ontario has extended GO’s rail network by nearly 90 kilometres, opened 14 new GO stations, rebuilt four existing stations, and added more than 31,000 new parking spots across the system.
- Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in construction and manufacturing sectors. – CINEWS