By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
A facility deemed to be more than 50 years in the making was recently unveiled in Oshawa’s south end.
Durham Region Transit’s (DRT) new Raleigh Maintenance Facility spans 5,770 square feet, with the capacity to maintain and service a fleet of more than 85 buses a day.
Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson says the facility, located at 715 Farewell St. in Oshawa, represents “a 53-year leap forward” for the region, replacing the original maintenance facility constructed in 1964.
Construction on the new facility began in November 2015, designed by Parsons Canada Ltd. and constructed by Buttcon Ltd.
Anderson also said the new facility is a “essential piece” of Durham Region’s Highway 2 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which includes road improvements and installation of bus-only lanes on a 35-km stretch of the highway between downtown Oshawa and the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus.
The facility was funded by the provincial government, which through Metrolinx’s Quick Wins program, has committed $82 million towards the $104 million Highway 2 BRT project, with Durham Region kicking in the rest.
The facility cost $26 million overall, including $21.9 million in construction expenses.
“Today we mark another milestone for Durham Region Transit,” Anderson said. “Properly maintained buses are the backbone of a safe, reliable and comfortable transit system and this new facility will help to ensure we deliver for all our passengers.”
The facility will not only house DRT’s maintenance facilities for buses that travel the Highway 2 corridor, but also the control centre and communications hub.
Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca was also on hand for the unveiling, stating that facility was the result of a collaborative effort.
“This is proof that we can make life better for people in Ontario when all levels of government work together,” Del Duca said. “There’s never been a greater time, not just in Durham Region, but all throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton area with respect to all three levels of government being in alignment in how it relates to getting these type of investments in transit and transportation right.”
Oshawa Mayor John Henry said a strong transit system is key to building “a first-class community.”
“Durham is well on its way, however, it doesn’t matter what you have if you don’t remember it is about people…it’s about getting people to work and their appointments every day. It’s about our drivers and staff who do a great job moving people around the city,” Henry said. “More importantly, it’s about giving our mechanics all the tools they need to keep our fleet on the road.”