Policy issues and research

Our focus areas Aging Society Policy Briefing Poster

CUTA focuses on policy and research that contribute to the quality and growth of transit across the country, affecting Canada’s communities, population, environment and economic growth. We also maintain an overview of provincial transit initiatives including political/electoral news, funding and program announcements.





In 25 years, there will be twice as many seniors in Canada as there are today. The ability of seniors to enjoy independence and play a role in their community and in Canada’s economy, depends a great deal on affordable, secure and accessible transit. To meet the mobility requirements of seniors for tomorrow, action is needed today.

Moving people and goods efficiently is key to boosting our productivity and economic growth. Public transit has proven to be one of the best solutions to keep us on the move. To effectively respond to the challenges of an increasing urban population, traffic congestion and an aging demographic, transit projects require predictable, dedicated and stable investment.

A National Transit Framework integrates the urban mobility goals, priorities and activities of municipal, provincial and federal governments. Over the last decade, these 3 levels of government have greatly increased their investment in the expansion and renewal of transit systems. Now what is needed is the coordination and optimization of Canada’s transit policies and funding programs to ensure the best outcomes for Canadians.

Across Canada there are many transit programs from all levels of government that fund and finance transit projects and operations through a variety of means. More and more traditional funding sources cannot support the capital and operating costs of the transit services that Canadians deserve and expect. New, more innovative ways of funding and financing transit are being applied and studied.

Renewing and keeping Canada’s transit infrastructure in a state of good repair is of the utmost importance in order to provide Canadians with quality transit services and to keep Canada’s transit systems efficient and cost-effective. CUTA tracks Canada’s transit infrastructure needs regularly through its Canadian Transit Infrastructure Needs report.

Whether it’s the walk to the bus stop or combining transit and cycling in one trip, public transit naturally encourages physical activity. Regular physical activity is an effective way to both prevent and treat chronic illnesses, conditions that consume an increasing percentage of healthcare spending in every province. The positive environmental impacts of taking transit, including lower greenhouse gas emissions, would decrease the number of emergency room visits for respiratory issues, such as asthma.

Every day, transit operators across the country drive thousands of people to work, school, recreation facilities and community services. The first concern of transit operators is to ensure the safety of their passengers. Unfortunately, drivers themselves face violent assaults and intimidation on a daily basis

Public transit can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get where you want to be. Every time you use public transit instead of driving, you generate 65% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Canadian transit manufacturers and suppliers are among the most innovative transit businesses in the world. Our innovations help move more people more efficiently every day, which supports Canada’s efforts to increase its productivity and competitiveness. Investing in R&D and innovation is critical to maintain our competitive edge, just as a renewed partnership between industry and the federal government is needed to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities.

Changes to provincial and territorial leaders, laws, policies and programs can have a significant impact on municipalities and transit systems. This update summarizes notable news over the last year involving provincial and territorial governments across Canada, from elections to infrastructure programs to governance overhauls. It will interest readers across the country.