Funds for accessible buses and PRESTO expected to provide an easier ride for Mississauga and Brampton transit users

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Published January 27, 2021 at 9:08 pm

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Upgrades to transit services in Mississauga and Brampton are expected to make it easier for those with accessibility issues to travel in Peel Region.

A joint funding project from the federal, provincial and local regional governments will inject $8.8 million into the system to purchase new buses and introduce the PRESTO pay system.

Government officials hope the projects will result in increased capacity, improved quality, safety and access to the local public transit system.

“These investments will help make sure there’s accessible public transit, powered by lower-emissions propane, for residents across Peel Region, throughout Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon,” said Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “And by modernizing the public transit payment method to one already in use in other Ontario cities, we’re giving TransHelp bus riders more options to make fare payment easier.”

Most of the funds will go to replacing existing ageing transit vehicles with 69 new, specialized, 8-metre buses. The new propane-powered buses, with side-mounted lift, will provide accessible transit in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon, and are capable of carrying as many as six wheelchair passengers.

The second project involves the adoption of the PRESTO electronic fare collection system across the Region of Peel’s TransHelp fleet. This project involves the design, planning, purchase and hardware installation of up to 145 portable, tablet-based, electronic payment units.

“Peel’s goal is to create a place where everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and has access to the services and opportunities needed to thrive,” Peel Region Chair Nando Iannicca. ”This funding supports initiatives that directly improve the service experience for passengers with disabilities and advances the modernization of specialized transit in Peel. It’s an example of all levels of government working together to directly benefit the community by ensuring residents with disabilities can continue to travel without barriers.”

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