Public transit representatives renew call for federal government to fast-track permanent transit funding

The planned rollout of the $3 billion annual PPTF in 2026 results in an infrastructure funding gap for public transit projects.

The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) recently hosted its annual conference and transit show in Edmonton where representatives from public transit agencies renewed their call for the federal government to move up the start date of the Permanent Public Transit Fund (PPTF) to 2024.

The planned rollout of the $3 billion annual PPTF in 2026 results in an infrastructure funding gap for public transit projects. The federal government also announced an investment of $180 million for new street cars for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

CUTA commends the TTC for bringing the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario to the table to fund urgently needed transit infrastructure.

The current timing of the PPTF leaves transit agencies facing capacity problems as well as mounting state of good repair backlogs. As a result, these challenges must be addressed to accommodate Canada’s substantial projected population increase, and to advance key policy aims including increased housing supply and reduced emissions.

By the mid-2040s, Canada will have a population of 45 to 50 million people with transit systems built for 25 million people, based on the government’s immigration target of roughly 500,000 new Canadians each year.

“Communities must be equipped to expand transit networks to meet rising demand and to ensure new housing developments are properly integrated with public transit infrastructure,” said CUTA president Marco D’Angelo. “The alternative is more road congestion, commuter dissatisfaction and higher emissions.”

In Brampton, ridership has surpassed 2019 levels and the transit system remains strained as the municipality is unable to procure electric busses or build new facilities.

Similar situations are also playing out in other fast-growing regions such as St. John’s, Halifax, Sherbrooke, and metro Vancouver.

Without action, fast-growing communities will not have the transit service capacity to support their expanding populations.

You might also like