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Transit and building improvements coming soon to Banff and surrounding area
[February 19, 2024]

Transit and building improvements coming soon to Banff and surrounding area

BANFF, AB, Feb. 19, 2024 /CNW/ - People visiting and living in and around Banff will be better served with improvements to transit services as well as to notable local cultural and essential service buildings after a combined investment of more than $13 million from the federal government and municipal partners.

Announced by Minister Sean Fraser, Mayor Corrie DiManno, Dave Schebek, Board Chair of the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission, and Chris Lorway, President and CEO of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativitythese projects will broaden access to transportation options and improve traffic flow in the busy Banff region. In addition, improvements to ventilation and lighting in two public local buildings will support a healthier indoor environment.

With today's funding, up to five accessible hybrid electric buses will be deployed in the Bow Valley region to provide improved transit service. Adding to the existing fleets within Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise, the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission will also replace current diesel buses with a mix of hybrid and electric vehicles that will include some extended range capabilities to be effective in the varying weather and terrain conditions. Funding will also support the expansion of services between Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. These rural communities will benefit from the purchase of three accessible transit buses specifically to extend the current fixed route service and help improve connectivity in the entire region.

Through a partnership between Banff and the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission, a new transit express lane will be created on Mountain Avenue which connects the downtown, a residential neighbourhood and two main tourist attractions in the area. The town will also see the creation of a new multi-use pathway to better connect residents and tourists with the existing local Roam Public Transit system and help reduce traffic congestion through the area.

Banff will also see investments in ventilation and lighting in notable local buildings to help improve the efficiency of these public spaces. The Catharine Robb Whyte Building will see upgrades to the existing lighting system with high efficiency LED fixtures and new automatic controls to reduce energy waste through a safer, hands-free operation. These improvements are expected to reduce the facility's energy consumption by an estimated 11% and greenhouse gas emissions by 25.10 tonnes annually. Upgrades to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity will be made to the Farrally Hall, Vinci Hall and Glyde Hall with Walter Philips Gallery and will include additional ventilation units and the replacement of outdated equipment to improve overall energy efficiency in the buildings.

Supporting upgrades to local transit and cultural infrastructure encourages healthy and sustainable modes of transportation and lifestyle and plays a key role in developing connected, dynamic, and prosperous communities. 


"Banff is one of the main hubs in the very busy Bow Valley region and the investments we're making in local transit projects and community buildings will make it easier and faster for folks to get to where they want to go and upgrade the efficiency of public spaces."

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

"This investment will add a critical transit lane, as well as bicycle and pedestrian path, in our community. It will help our leading-edge transit system to move more people faster and more effectively. We know reliable and frequent transit takes personal vehicles off of our finite road network, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and maintains our crystal clean air quality, all while improving the overall experience for the four million visitors to Banff each year and the 9,000 residents who work hard to welcome Canadians to their premier national park. The federal support for our energy efficiency upgrades in key facilities strengthens our goal to be a model environmental community and it creates financial sustainability in our vital cultural spaces."

Her Worship Corrie DiManno, Mayor of the Town of Banff

"Roam Public Transit is continually striving to reduce congestion and contribute to lowering emissions through offering increased sustainable transit options within the Bow Valley. The funding provided through the Federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and the Rural Transit Solutions Fund, supplemented by our partners Canmore, Banff and Improvement District 9, is allowing Roam to continue moving forward on this journey. This opportunity will further encourage and enable residents and visitors to move throughout the Bow Valley without the use of a private vehicle."

Dave Schebek, Board Chair, Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission (BVRTSC)

"With this funding, we will be able to make important upgrades to two of the most historic buildings on our campus: Farrally Hall and Vinci Hall, as well as Glyde Hall with the Walter Philips Gallery. With this work, these three buildings will be able to significantly improve the environmental conditions and air quality which will better serve artists and leaders who come to Banff Centre."

Chris Lorway, President and CEO, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Quick Facts
  • The federal government is investing $8,789,777 towards these five projects through various programs including the Public Transit Infrastructure tream (PTIS) and the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), the Rural Transit Solutions Fund (RTSF), as well as the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program. The Town of Banff is investing $4,932,765 and the Town of Banff Environmental Reserve is contributing $35,034.
  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to environmental assessment obligations.
  • Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
  • As the world moves towards a net-zero economy, people living and working on the Prairies are taking action and are leading to take advantage of growing economic development opportunities.
  • On December 18, 2023, the federal government launched the Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy, which highlights the need for a collaborative, region-specific approach to sustainability, focusing on strengthening the coordination of federal programs, and initiatives with significant investments. This Framework is a first step in a journey that will bring together multiple stakeholders.
  • PrairiesCan has dedicated $100 million over three years to support projects aligned with priority areas identified by Prairie stakeholders to build a stronger, more sustainable, and inclusive economy for the Prairie provinces and Canada.
  • Building a green Prairie economy is about working together on common interests, to make a sustainable and prosperous net-zero economy achievable.
  • Infrastructure Canada is supporting the Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy to encourage greater collaboration on investment opportunities, leverage additional funding, and attract new investments across the Prairies that better meet their needs. 

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (PTIS/CVRIS):

  • The Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) supports the building, expansion, and upgrading of urban and rural transit networks.
  • Investments in public transit help Canadians get where they need to be, create new manufacturing and construction jobs, reduce pollution, and make life more affordable.
  • Including today's announcement, over 10 infrastructure projects under the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream have been announced in Alberta, with a total federal contribution of more than $1.9 billion and a total provincial contribution of more than $2 billion.
  • Under the COVID-19 Resilience Stream, the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects is 80 per cent in the provinces, and 100 per cent in the territories and for projects intended for Indigenous communities.
  • Including today's announcement, over 100 infrastructure projects under the COVID-19 Resilience Stream have been announced in Alberta, with a total federal contribution of more than $206 million and a total provincial contribution of nearly $10 million.

Rural Transit Solutions Fund:

  • Launched in 2021,the RTSF helps Canadians living in rural and remote areas get around their communities more easily by supporting the development of rural transit solutions.
  • Applications are currently being accepted for the RTSF's two funding streams:
    • The Capital projects stream can provide up to $3 million for traditional modes of transportation and up to $5 million for zero-emission vehicles. Note: The Capital projects stream will be closing on February 28, 2024, at 3:00 pm, EST.
    • The Planning and Design projects stream provides grants of up to $50,000 to support the development of transit planning activities such as assessment of routes, modes of travel, feasibility studies, public and stakeholder engagement and surveys. No closing date has been announced for this funding stream.
  • A minimum of 10 percent of RTSF's funding is allocated to projects that benefit Indigenous populations and communities.

Green and Inclusive Community Buildings:

  • The GICB program is providing $1.5 billion over five years to support green retrofits and new net-zero construction of community buildings in underserved areas. GICB aims to improve the places Canadians work, learn, play, live and come together by cutting pollution, reducing costs, and supporting thousands of good jobs. The program helps ensure that community buildings are energy efficient, inclusive, accessible, and have a long service life, while also helping Canada move towards its net-zero objectives by 2050.
  • At least 10 percent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.
Related products

Transit and building improvements coming soon to Banff and surrounding area

Associated Links

Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Public Transit Infrastructure Stream 

COVID-19 Resilience Stream 

Rural Transit Solutions Fund 

Green and Inclusive Community Buildings:

Federal infrastructure investments in Alberta

Strengthened Climate Plan 

Building a Green Prairie Economy Act

Building a Green Prairie Economy 

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