Island Transit Services Get New Wheels Thanks to Canada's Gas Tax Fund

Alberton, Prince Edward Island, August 28, 2013 – Pat and the Elephant and Transportation West will soon add new accessible buses and vans to their fleets thanks to a $354,542 investment from Canada's Gas Tax Fund. This significant investment will help expand transit service for persons with disabilities across Prince Edward Island.

"Our Government is proud to invest in transit projects that will provide PEI communities with reliable, accessible buses, as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth and building strong, prosperous communities in the province, and across Canada," said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. "Our Government is pleased to help communities with their local infrastructure and transit priorities while improving the environment for families and residents."

"Access to opportunity is fundamental to our quality of life. Millions of Canadians depend on public transit to get around, and our government is proud to invest in accessible transit service on the Island," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "Federal Gas Tax Fund transfer infrastructure investments will continue to stimulate opportunities, generate economic growth and create jobs across Canada for generations to come."

"The purchase of new buses and vans will benefit Islanders by providing safe and accessible transportation," said Prince Edward Island Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Robert Vessey. "The provincial government is pleased to work with the federal government and community partners to strengthen Island communities."

"We put 50,000 kilometres on each of our vans every year, so this investment will help us renew our fleet and ensure our clients get the safest, most reliable transportation we can provide," said Greg Peters, treasurer of the Pat and the Elephant board of directors.

Founded by Patricia Rogers in 1975, Pat and the Elephant is a non-profit organization based in Charlottetown that provides year-round service to Islanders and visitors who are visually impaired, have artificial limbs, are hearing impaired, or are wheelchair mobile. The purchase of two new specially-equipped vans will permit Pat and the Elephant to upgrade their fleet and to maintain the level of service provided to their clients.

"Demand for our services is increasing, and this investment will help us meet our commitments even when one of our vehicles is unavailable," said Gordon Bush, manager of Transportation West, a non-profit that also provides accessible transportation for seniors and people with limited mobility.

Based in Alberton, Transportation West will be able to purchase a bus to transport clients from the West Prince to Charlottetown and Summerside, and another larger bus for four wheelchairs and 12 other passengers.

The Government of Canada contributed $354,542 from the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer to this project.

The Gas Tax Fund provides long-term funding to municipalities across the country to build and revitalize their local infrastructure. The Government of Canada has invested over $10 billion to date in municipal infrastructure through this program and passed legislation to make it a permanent transfer of $2 billion per year.

In Prince Edward Island, the Gas Tax Fund transfer provides over $15 million of predictable, long-term funding annually to help municipalities build and revitalize public infrastructure. As part of Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government committed to index the Gas Tax Fund transfer to provide additional funding for communities starting in 2014.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure visit Infrastructure Canada or follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng.

For further information on infrastructure investments in Prince Edward Island, visit Government of Prince Edward Island.

For more information contact:

Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Brad Chatfield
Prince Edward Island Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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