Mayor Al McDonald said that today is a very good day for the region.
City of North Bay, surrounding communities, along with the Ontario and Canadian government will be investing over $30 million in infrastructure and transit in the area.
The investments include improvements to the North Bay Transit terminal, new bicycle storage areas at key cycling destinations, and bicycle racks on buses will make it easy for riders to transition between active transportation and public transit. Improvements to para-transit buses, new bus shelters with solar-powered lighting, and new digital bus stop signs will improve safety and accessibility. The implementation of “transit-on-demand” will allow North Bay’s transit service to shift from a fixed-route schedule to a responsive on-demand scheduling system during evening and Sunday service.
The City of North Bay will also see 4KM of sidewalk be added to existing roads, as well as McKeown’s four lanes be extended to the round-a-bout, which will help with traffic congestion in an area where Mayor McDonald said is “busting at the seams”.
In Chisholm, upgrades to Alderdale Road will improve safety for emergency vehicles and commuters. In Mattawa, improvements to Dorion Road will improve winter driving conditions and provide better drainage. For residents of Mattawan, the replacement of Murphy Road Bridge will make the bridge more accessible for school buses and other vehicles. Cyclists in Powassan will benefit from better riding conditions with upgrades to Maple Hill Road.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $13.4 million in these projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) and the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada plan.
The Government of Ontario is providing over $8.9 million, while the municipalities of North Bay, Chisholm, Mattawa, Mattawan, and Powassan are contributing more than $8.7 million for these projects.
Mayor McDonald said North Bay is adding roughly 10M to the projects as well.
“Council has been really, really supportive of transit,” said McDonald at the announcement. “It’s critical to all cities our size and larger. The [transit-on-demand] project will provide a better service – as well as be more efficient in not having to drive the full route. It will lower our carbon footprint and be dramatically more efficient for our citizens.”
McDonald says that work has begun on some of these projects, but with a substantial amount of money comes a substantial amount of work – and getting it all done within a year would be a huge inconvenience to citizens. The projects are expected to begin within the next year or two.
“It’s something we’re excited about, something we are fully supportive of, and something that I think anybody who has been to North Bay will recognize will make a definite positive difference for our citizens… but it will be a length a time before we can put it all out there.” finished McDonald.