Three months on, transit systems still wait for help

 

Tomorrow will mark three months to the day since public transit systems requested emergency pandemic relief from the federal government. They are still waiting.

Every day, more than a million people take public transit, many of them essential workers. And as the economy reopens, ridership is growing—making now the worst time to cut service as crowding may result.

“Transit systems welcomed the prime minister including public transit in the safe recovery plan, but they need more than words,” said Marco D’Angelo, CEO of CUTA. “Systems and their riders urgently need the federal and provincial governments to find a way to flow funds. Cities cannot recover without transit and Canada cannot recover without cities. Three months is too long time to wait.”

Transit systems and cities are actively considering severe reductions in service if the federal and provincial governments do not step in. During the depths of the lockdown, farebox revenue was down by about $400 million a month—money that cannot be recovered.