Transit needs help now
The Canadian Urban Transit Association said it appreciates the prime minister’s support for transit in the longer term, but urgently needs emergency support to keep buses and trains running today.
Earlier today, Justin Trudeau said operational support for vital transit systems whose revenue has been decimated is a provincial responsibility although Ottawa would be there to help them in the recovery. Other countries, however, have included transit in pandemic relief efforts including the United States and United Kingdom.
“Every day, up to a million people depend on public transit. Many of them are essential, lower-paid workers in the health care, grocery, and cleaning sectors. The longer transit waits for urgently needed federal support, the more essential workers will wait as service is reduced,” said Marco D’Angelo, CEO of CUTA. “We won’t stop raising the need for emergency support. Transit is essential because the workers we transport are essential.”
Unprecedented federal support has been given to other transportation modes such as airlines, and D’Angelo said the unprecedented situation transit systems means they should also receive support. He also noted that as the country reopens, more workers will depend on transit to help the economy recover.