Shiny new buses will be on the streets in 2015; being paid for out of the gas tax refund the province gives Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 18, 2014



Earlier in the life of the current council an agreement was signed with Metrolinx and 12 other Ontario municipalities to put together a buying group for transit related equipment.

Burlington residents will benefit from enhanced transit when nine new buses will be delivered to Burlington; they are part of a purchase of 203 buses.

Bus station John Street lined up 1 side

New buses will be on the streets in 2015 – replacing vehicles that are 12 years old.

Each 12-meter bus will carry up to 70 passengers and be fully accessible, helping people better access jobs, family, friends and community services. The buses will also meet the latest emission standards and be equipped with electrical accessories, such as electrically powered oil radiators, to improve fuel efficiency and help reduce costs.

In a statement put out by the province they said: “Building smarter, more integrated transit is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.”

Nice political rhetoric there – now for the reality check.

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast, a local transit advocacy group that pushes the city to improve transit said: “No real news here, as the 10 year capital plan included 9 replacement buses in 2015.

Bfast Transit group logo“Since these are replacement vehicles, there will be no increase in the overall Burlington Transit capacity and the city will continue to be underserved in terms of bus capacity and transit service hours.

The retirement of older (12 years) buses will reduce maintenance costs, and increase reliability.
Funding for these replacement buses comes not from the City, but from the Provincial Gas Tax. Burlington reduced transit’s share of these Gas Tax funds from 30% to 20% in 2013.

Burlington has been part of the group buying process with Metrolinx and other municipalities for a number of years. The large orders resulting from group buying allows the participating agencies to leverage better prices.

Burlington’s MPP, Eleanor McMahon said: “This is great news for transit riders in Burlington. With this partnership, Burlington will save money and provide better service, making transit better for the environment and for the entire community.”

The next time you see our MPP on a bus – let us know – that will be news.

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1 comment to Shiny new buses will be on the streets in 2015; being paid for out of the gas tax refund the province gives Burlington.

  • tenni

    Thanks for the clarification. Were you able to find out why Burlington had a ten percent decreased in its share of the gas tax?

    The GO is the most commonly used public transit in Burlington is my guess. Those of us who do use the GO need to be studied as to how many of us use Burlington transit….if not why not?

    There is a subsidy if you come to Burlington transit from the GO. I suspect that ridership is not strong though. Burlington transit is not enticing real use. The service may be not aligned well enough with the half hour service that the GO offers. The routes may be too far from home to be used in a snowy winter day.

    Good job Gazette. Now, did deeper and lets see if public transit can improve the increasingly congested Fairview Plains Rd routes as well as other areas.

    Editor’s note: Burlington didn’t get less gas tax money – city council decided to spend less of the gas tax money it got from the province on transit.