Transit systems grappling with Covid-19 costs need government co-operation on emergency aid
Public transit is experiencing a financial crisis. Ridership levels have dropped; revenue has disappeared; and significant layoffs have taken place. As a result, transit systems have had to reduce services—while continuing to carry about a million Canadians a day, many of them essential workers. Since the start of the pandemic, CUTA has advocated for all levels of government to come to the aid of public transit.
As the national conversation moves towards the topic of post-pandemic recovery, governments must work together to keep essential services in place. Cash-strapped transit systems can’t be contemplating service cuts while people are returning to work. To keep people moving, and moving safely, transit needs to be included in relief efforts. Restoring transit networks to full force must be at the top of Canada’s economic recovery strategy.
CUTA is grateful for the support announced by the prime minister on June 5 and looks forward to working with governments on the details. We hope the provinces move swiftly to get this welcome relief to transit systems so they can keep Canadians and their communities running.
For more information, please contact Jamey Heath.
The GHG reduction impact of public transit
Our climate is changing because we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Canada remains the world’s tenth highest emitter, sitting at 2.5 times the global average. What can be done to slow and reverse these trends? One answer lies in expanding and investing in public transit.
Public transport is an essential, cost-effective way to make cities more sustainable. It gets people out of their cars and helps reduce sprawl. It also reduces congestion and vehicle-idling, leading to shorter trips and more sustainable transportation. In a 2019 Leger survey commissioned by CUTA, nine out of 10 Canadians believed that investing in public transit helped the environment.
To better understand how public transit investment reduces emissions, CUTA has developed an issue paper that touches on the ridership effect, reduced congestion, land use and zero-emission vehicle technology. Click here to read The GHG Reduction Impact of Public Transit. This paper was developed pre-pandemic, and builds on our February 2020 pre-budget submission and zero-emissions bus report.
For more information, please contact Nathaniel Wallace.