August 21, 2019

OTTAWA – Nine weeks from the next federal election, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is calling on all national parties to commit to a permanent public transit funding mechanism to shorten commutes, ease gridlock, reduce emissions and boost Canadians’ quality of life.

“This election is about building better lives, and we do that when we build better transit. Today’s surge of transit expansions is an overdue boost for commuters and families, and proof that this investment is delivering results for Canadians,” said FCM President Bill Karsten. “That’s why we’re asking each party to make a clear commitment in this campaign—to keep Canada on a reliable, uninterrupted path toward fast and accessible public transit.”

The current 10-year federal transit plan has been a game-changer for cities. Its predictable funding allocations are directly empowering local leaders to deliver key service expansions—from Quebec City’s public transit system to Vancouver’s Broadway Subway Project to Edmonton’s Valley Line West. FCM’s proposal would extend this plan’s annual funding allocations beyond their 2027 sunset date, through a permanent federal funding mechanism for Canada’s transit systems.

“Modern transit is the backbone of the livable, competitive cities we want to build,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, who chairs FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus. “Smart transit growth takes decades of continuous planning and delivery, and that’s why permanent funding will be transformative for our cities. With long-term funding stability locked in right now, mayors can confidently press forward on long-term transit projects that build on our momentum.”

Alongside permanent funding allocations, FCM is calling for additional funding in the near-term to accelerate the mass adoption of low-to-zero emission transit and municipal fleet vehicles. Over the long-term, a complementary fund should also be created that would allow municipalities of all sizes to apply for funds for projects that grow ridership or address mobility challenges that can’t be met by ridership-based allocations alone. This might include anything from para-transit to seniors shuttles to regional bus networks.

“Predictable investment builds better transit, and better transit builds better lives. Faster commutes, less gridlock and lower emissions is progress everyone can get behind. And we’re ready to work with every national party to set Canada on a path to the 21st century public transit this country deserves,” added Karsten.

For more information:  FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395, media@fcm.ca

Transportation
2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities