CUTA launches national #PriorityTransit campaign
On June 11, CUTA launched its national election campaign entitled #PriorityTransit. To support our campaign, we commissioned Léger Marketing to conduct a survey which asked Canadians living in major urban centres about their attitudes to transit through the lens of our four campaign pillars: fighting traffic congestion; combating climate change; growing the economy; and fostering social inclusion.
The six urban centres polled – Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Montréal and Québec City – will be critical election battlegrounds in the next federal election. All political parties need to pay attention and make transit a priority in their platforms.
Our poll showed overwhelming support for statements that reinforce our members’ key priorities, including greening transit fleets, federal funding for operational expenses, getting transit investments to communities more quickly, and bettering critical data collection. We encourage you to engage with our campaign by visiting the website prioritytransit.ca, using our helpful tools to contact your local Member of Parliament and party candidates, and sharing our messages on social media.
Since the launch, we have had good success in getting the transit industry message out to Canadians and to federal leaders. We have met representatives from all major political parties and discussed our industry’s priorities to ensure that transit is included in their platforms. Moreover, CUTA’s President and CEO, Marco D’Angelo, has done a number of interviews with radio and print media, both nationally and regionally.
In the coming months, we will be taking our campaign to key election battlegrounds with a series of events designed to shape public discourse on the importance of investing in transit. The first event is our annual Transit Policy Forum at the UBC Robson Square Theatre in Vancouver on September 12.
For more information, please contact Chad Jeudy-Hugo at 514-207-7072.
Investing in Canada Progress Report: Building a Better Canada
Infrastructure Canada published its first progress report on the Investing in Canada Plan on May 9. Entitled Building a Better Canada, the report outlines the results of the federal government’s infrastructure investments over the last three years, including in transit.
The report promotes the long-term economic growth and quality of life benefits associated with the $42.3 billion invested by the federal government in 48,000 infrastructure projects since 2016. Infrastructure Canada is quick to point out that almost all these projects are either underway or completed.
From a transit perspective, the report highlights that investments have led to:
- Over 3,600 new buses on Canadian roads, leading to more than 100,000 additional seats for riders.
- 4,900 repaired or refurbished buses.
- Nearly 15,000 new or upgraded bus stops and shelters.
- 365 new light rail vehicles to increase capacity.
- 370 existing streetcar or rail coaches rehabilitated or enhanced.
- 192 kilometers of new light-rail tracks.
- 201 new transit stations and 232 existing station upgrades.
- 1,589 intelligent transit systems that incorporate modern technology, including GPS tracking software.
- 395 new and 72 rehabilitated paratransit vehicles.
Some CUTA members were profiled by the government in the report. This includes investments made in the TTC for 60 new electric buses, 200 new jobs created by Nova Bus, BC Transit’s use of new route planning technology, and Saint John’s upgrade of 12 new accessible buses.
This is the most transparent public report on the status of ICIP funding to date. Annex A (page 51) includes details on the amount of money spent on transit investments up to April 10, 2019. The table below shows that $215 million of Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) phase 1 funding remains unapproved, and that 12 transit projects under ICIP’s Public Transit Stream have received approval for a total of $3.6 billion.
Annex A – Investing in Canada Plan Implementation Status: Public Transit
CUTA will continue to monitor the federal government’s investments made under PTIF and ICIP’s Public Transit Stream, and advocate for streamlined approval and reimbursement procedures to move money to project proponents faster at the local level.