Transit Awareness Days 2017 Focus on Collaborating to Build Sustainable Communities
September 18-20, 2017
This September, CUTA held its annual Transit Awareness Days (TAD) in Ottawa to highlight the importance of urban mobility when building sustainable communities in Canada. TAD helps CUTA members and stakeholders from across the country share their expertise through a Policy Forum and then supports them to consult directly with federal decision makers in Ottawa.
The Policy Forum covered several pressing issues regarding transit, ranging from private investment in transit infrastructure, to the social impacts of transit service, the future autonomous transit, and the modernization of data collection in the transit industry. These topics and more were explored by top speakers from across the country and abroad.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities kicked off the Policy Forum with warm remarks for the transit industry and details about the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. He was followed with a presentation by renowned urbanist Brent Toderian of TODERIAN UrbanWORKS & former Vancouver chief planner. The keynote speech was delivered by Senator Dennis Dawson, Chair of the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.
This year's Transit Awareness Days saw its biggest turn out ever, over 100 people attended the Policy Forum and, on September 19th, some 60 CUTA members attended over 70 meetings with key stakeholders, including Ministers, MPs, Senators, and senior bureaucrats. At these meetings CUTA informed these federal stakeholders of key issues affecting the industry, including the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, reducing Canada’s transportation sector GHG emissions, and the effects of Buy America on Canada’s transit manufacturing industry.
Members were also treated to a lunch at the Parliamentary Restaurant, hosted by Senator Dennis Dawson, as well as a high-profile Speakers’ Reception in the evening, co-hosted by Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Members of Parliament Marc Miller, Michael Chong and Robert Aubin. The event was very well attended by parliamentarians and staff.
“Transit Awareness Days is about sharing our industry’s expertise with the decision makers on Parliament Hill,” said Patrick Leclerc, President and CEO of CUTA. “Increased investment by all levels of government in transit are already yielding health, environmental and economic benefits for communities across Canada, we want to share that story and show how we can build on these positive trends.”
CUTA and Transdev Canada also testified in front of the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications on autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on transit. On September 20, CUTA and Transdev Canada co-organized an autonomous shuttle demonstration on Parliament Hill for the Senate Committee. The event was widely covered by the press and enjoyed a significant number of attendees—including Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Kent Hehr, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Karen McCrimmon.
Canadian urban mobility is at a pivotal moment in its history and more than ever it is important to be making the right decisions for Canadians. Through Transit Awareness Days, CUTA encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing between our members and key decision-makers in Ottawa, all with the goal of building sustainable communities for Canadians.
CUTA and Transdev Canada CEOs discuss autonomous transit with Senate Transport Committee - September 19, 2017.