Federal Transit Investment Key Priority for Canadians

CUTA Releases Federal Party Positions on Public Transit

TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) is today renewing their call to federal party leaders to take action to keep Canada's cities moving by supporting transit.

In many cities, transportation has become the number one public issue.  "According to a public opinion survey conducted for CUTA by Harris Decima just prior to the election call, a majority of those surveyed believe it is important to have access to public transit in their community," says Michael Roschlau, CUTA President & CEO. "Yet only 29% believe the federal government is doing enough to support public transit infrastructure."

"Clearly, Canadians think transit is a priority," says John King, CUTA First Vice Chair, "and we urge the federal party leaders to take this issue on and commit to long-term, sustainable investment in transit infrastructure, and changes to transit tax policy to benefit Canadians."

Each of the federal parties has identified steps that they will take regarding public transit, either in official response to CUTA's federal election questionnaire or from published campaign platforms.

Highlights include:

Conservative Party of Canada:

Liberal Party of Canada:

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP):

Bloc Québécois:

Green Party of Canada:

"In its own way, each party has indicated that it supports transit," says Roschlau.  "CUTA is pleased to see these various announcements and policy statements; however, we are calling on party leaders to specifically get things rolling now by adding a dedicated top-up to the existing federal gas tax fund for transit.  The fund is in place, it works and we all understand it."

Canadian transit ridership continues to set all-time records, carrying over 1.82 billion passenger trips per year, and is increasing at a rate two or three times the rate of population growth.  This demonstrates that public transit can and will attract more and more Canadians, under conditions where the right balance between expanded service and fare incentives can be provided.

An efficient, secure and consistent public transit system will provide significant economic, environmental and social benefits for the entire nation.  "Only with the application of true, long-term, and dedicated investment can we achieve both an efficient and equitable public transit system for Canadians," adds King.  "I invite federal party leaders to take a leadership role and make transit a priority in this election and in the next Parliament."

CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada.