Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced plans Wednesday for the federal authorities to spend $14.9 billion over the subsequent eight years on public transportation initiatives throughout the nation.
Part of that funding will go towards a everlasting transit fund of $three billion per 12 months beginning in 2026 and meant to present secure and predictable funding so municipalities can plan future initiatives, Trudeau mentioned.
“We need efficient and modern public transit systems that make our communities more connected,” he mentioned at a digital announcement forward of a gathering with the mayors of Canada’s largest cities.
“While these investments are good for the economy and crucial to our recovery from this global crisis, they’re also helping us achieve our climate goals.”
Trudeau mentioned the funding could possibly be used for subway extensions, electrifying transit fleets with zero-emissions autos, and for walkways and biking pathways, in addition to rural mobility wants.
Public-transportation ridership in city areas has declined precipitously since many Canadian staff began working from house due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The newest knowledge from Statistics Canada for November 2020 present ridership down 64 per cent when in comparison with November 2019.
Lower ridership has additionally led to main income decreases for a lot of transit companies, including extra stress to municipal and provincial budgets already beset by falling revenues and elevated spending on pandemic-related priorities.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, who chairs the massive metropolis mayors’ caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, mentioned the announcement satisfies a key demand the nation’s mayors have been asking for for years.
“Permanent transit funding offers cities long-term predictability to finally be able to deliver transformational system expansion and drive durable economic growth across our country,” mentioned Iveson. “The recovery support here can be massive. It can be the centrepiece of the job-creating, emissions-reducing recovery that Canadians are looking for.”
In a information launch, the Prime Minister’s Office mentioned the federal authorities has spent over $13 billion on greater than 1,300 public transit initiatives throughout Canada since 2015. That funding has helped construct greater than 240 kilometres of subway and lightweight rail traces, buy 300 zero-emission buses, and create virtually 500 kilometres of trails, bike and pedestrian lanes, and leisure paths.