CUTA calls for urgently needed transit funding in 2024 federal budget

Published February 15, 2024.

OTTAWA, ON (February 15, 2024) – The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) submitted recommendations to Finance Canada for the 2024 federal budget, highlighting the urgent need for accelerated funding for public transit infrastructure and enhanced safety measures across Canada.

The federal government plans to introduce the $3B annual permanent public transit fund in 2026 to support public transit infrastructure expansion and to ensure state of good repair for existing infrastructure. CUTA urged the government to introduce a $500M component of the fund in the 2024 budget and to open intake and funding commitments in 2024 for the remainder of the fund, ahead of the program’s planned 2026 start date. CUTA underscored the urgent infrastructure needs facing Canada’s transit agencies as they contend with aging infrastructure and rising demand spurred on by Canada’s rapidly rising population.

“Public transit is the backbone of sustainable urban development, and the federal government has a vital stake in maintaining and expanding Canada’s urban mobility infrastructure,” said Marco D’Angelo, CUTA President and CEO. “With the government’s collaboration and leadership, we can ensure a resilient, safe, and reliable public transit system that meets the needs of Canada’s growing communities.”

2023 saw an increase in incidents of violence and social disorder on transit, impacting transit workers and riders alike. In response, CUTA urged the federal government to establish an application-based transit safety and security fund, with a minimum of $75M annually for two years. This will help support transit agencies with the specific expenditures needed to prevent, combat, and respond to safety and security incidents on their systems. Transit agencies need urgent support for staffing, training, station enhancements, public awareness campaigns and other safety and security measures.

Canada’s public transit systems are poised to play a pivotal role in supporting Canada’s growing communities. They require a reliable and sustainable funding strategy that can adequately fund operations, facilitate growth, address environmental concerns, and support key policy aims.

Public transit systems collectively faced unfunded operational shortfalls estimated at over three quarters of a billion dollars in 2023 that threaten their ability to serve communities effectively. Without government support, transit systems risk service cuts or fare increases at a time when affordability is a chief concern. Communities across Canada risk heightened road congestion, commuter dissatisfaction, and less frequent and reliable transit services.

In addition to CUTA’s federal budget recommendations, the organization is calling on all levels of government to engage in a national conversation on public transit operational funding. The federal government has a unique opportunity to lead this dialogue, ensuring that Canada’s transit systems receive the support they need.

For more information about CUTA’s pre-budget submission, visit


Media contact

Jon MacMull

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)

[email protected]