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North Bay gets $4.1M to upgrade city’s transit system

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In North Bay on Friday, the federal and provincial governments announced $4.1 million in funding for new transit equipment and upgrades to the city’s transit terminal.

The money will allow the city to replace its entire Parabus fleet, which includes eight buses in the next seven years. Two new gas buses and six hybrid buses will be purchased along with two sidewalk tractors and five transit-vehicle lifting devices.

"This is wonderful news for North Bay,” said Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota.

“Investing in public transit infrastructure is essential for our community's economic development. It not only helps in curbing air pollution but also fosters inclusivity by providing everyone with access to public services and job opportunities.”

The money will be used to buy a video screen for the transit terminal displaying arrival times, a new HVAC system and the installation of passenger counters to track ridership.

North Bay Mayor Peter Chirico said the money will help vulnerable people in the city get to where they need to go.

“I just want to thank (Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli) and Anthony, who continue to fight on our behalf daily,” Chirico said.

“It's to make it more user-friendly, to make it safer and to have those upgrades so that our public can find out when their bus is coming, when it's going to be there, when it's leaving to make sure that people feel safe, they have the information that they need. And that's going to help increase our ridership numbers.”

While ridership is back up to pre-COVID-19 levels, Chirico said the hope is that the improvements will entice more people in the city to take transit.

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