CUTA Urges Ontario Government to Follow BC’s Lead in Supporting Public Transit
TORONTO (March 17, 2023) – The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) applauds the recent decision by the British Columbia government to provide TransLink with $479 million in operational funding to help address its budget shortfall and avoid fare increases in the near future. The move is a significant victory for public transit in BC and the communities that rely on it. CUTA thanks Premier Eby, as well as Ministers Katrine Conroy and Rob Fleming for their support of public transit.
With budget shortfalls in Ontario exceeding those in BC, CUTA urges Premier Doug Ford and Ministers Caroline Mulroney, and Peter Bethlenfalvy to take similar action to support public transit in Ontario, and to keep transit running where it is needed most. Other provincial governments, finance ministers and transportation ministers should follow BC’s lead to prevent service level reductions and fare hikes. Failing to do so could throw systems into a downward spiral that would lead to further declines in ridership and revenue reductions. When riders are left waiting longer or paying more, many shift to alternative modes of transportation that are more convenient and affordable.
“For years, CUTA has advocated for better transit funding models to provide more predictable and sustainable permanent funding for operating costs to keep transit affordable,” said Marco D’Angelo, CUTA’s President, and CEO. “We are relieved to see that BC is taking matters into its own hands to prevent a death spiral of infrequent service and higher fares. We are hopeful that other provinces follow suit!”
CUTA calls on all provinces to take immediate action to support public transit and promote ridership return nationwide. Transit systems are facing significant financial pressures, which have hindered operations and could jeopardize expansion initiatives. Therefore, it is crucial that provinces provide operational support so that transit systems can continue supporting municipal economic recovery efforts.
Communications and Public Affairs Specialist
Canadian Urban Transit Association