Feb. 13, 2019 – Selkirk Mobility will replace its current fleet of buses with three new ones this spring, thanks to a federal cost-shared Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. The federal share is up to $150,000 with the City of Selkirk also contributing up to $150,000 towards the project.
Yesterday in Selkirk council chambers, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced funding for the purchase of the three new mobility buses for Selkirk Transit Authority, which manages Selkirk Mobility as well as Selkirk Transit.
Selkirk Mobility a true success story
Mayor Larry Johannson said Selkirk Mobility is a true success story and has met the needs of the people of Selkirk who might otherwise be marginalized due to mobility issues.
“It’s important to keep seniors and others who have difficulty getting around involved in the community and Selkirk Mobility provides them the opportunity to stay connected, and that’s a difference maker in people’s lives,” Johannson said.
“Selkirk Mobility is in its fourth year now, and the service has grown year over year, including service to our neighbours in St. Clements and St. Andrews, and we’re happy to work with the federal government to improve the service once again.”
Strategic investments are key
Minister Jordan said the Government of Canada recognizes that strategic investments in public transit infrastructure are key to developing inclusive communities where everyone can get around easily and access public services and job opportunities.
“Making sure everyone can get where they need to go safely, quickly and comfortably is essential to creating inclusive communities. Supporting vital projects like the purchase of these mobility buses in Selkirk will ensure that all members of the community have transportation options that meet their unique needs,” Jordan said.
“Investments in transit provide greater accessibility, help to shorten commute times, cut air pollution, and strengthen our communities,” said Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton.
“Projects such as these support our government’s vision for more sustainable public transportation for all Manitobans.”
Selkirk Mobility currently operates three buses – the oldest is a 2005; the newest a 2007. All three of the buses have been identified through the city’s Capital Asset Management criteria as being at the end of their lifecycle and due for replacement.
City CAO Duane Nicol, says Selkirk Mobility launched with a used bus fleet because getting the service up and running quickly was a priority given the failure of the former Selkirk & District Handi-Bus.
“Used buses were available immediately and this allowed us to get the service off the ground quickly. However, Selkirk Mobility’s business plan included asset replacement as a core part of its operations,” Nicol said.
“The cost of asset replacement is built into the pricing model. Every year Selkirk Mobility puts funds away to replace its fleet. Because we planned for fleet replacement and had saved funds, we were able to take advantage of this grant opportunity and secured a brand new fleet for almost fifty cents on the dollar.”
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Two of the new buses will be gas and the third, a pilot project for the city, is outfitted with hybrid technology. The city’s Strategic Plan calls for adequate funding for maintenance of all city owned assets and reducing the environmental impact of the city’s practices and services. The city’s GHG Reduction Plan, which calls for a reduction in corporate GHG emission by 20% by 2026, requires the city to look for options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when purchasing new vehicles.
The city will use the third bus to study the operational impacts, cost savings and the GHG reductions of operating a hybrid bus.
The new buses, purchased from Crestline Coach in Saskatchewan, are expected to arrive in early April.