The Ontario government has placed a $481m order with Bombardier to deliver 65 new bi-level rail cars, as part of its strategy to improve public transit and support jobs in Thunder Bay, Canada.

The rail cars, which will be manufactured by Bombardier at its plant in Thunder Bay, will be used on GO Transit, an inter-regional public transit system in Southern Ontario that serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) conurbation.

Bi-level rail cars and passenger coaches have been part of GO Transit’s fleet since 1978.

About 250 workers will work on the order that is considered as vital for introducing two-way, all-day service on all seven GO rail lines.

Ontario minister of transportation and infrastructure Glen Murray said: "This significant investment supports our manufacturing sector and stimulates the economy in northern Ontario while enabling more people to choose public transit."

"This significant investment supports our manufacturing sector."

The order will increase GO Transit’s fleet of train cars to 743, and will be delivered between June 2016 and July 2017.

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GO Transit is an inter-regional public transit system in Southern Ontario that primarily serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) conurbation.

The Ontario government has purchased 382 GO Train cars apart from 10 new GO stations and 28,600 parking spots across the system since 2003.

Ontario has invested over $19.3bn in public transit in Ontario including $9.1bn in GO Transit since 2003.

The provincial government said that investing in northern communities and improving public transit is part of its economic plan to build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and an innovative business climate.

Image: A Bombardier bi-level coach and cab car. Photo: courtesy of GTD Aquitaine.