OPTA and CUTA applaud new deal between Ontario and Toronto
TORONTO – The Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA) and the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) commend the government of Ontario and the City of Toronto for reaching a new deal to help achieve financial stability for the city. Notable aspects of the deal are significant provincial investments in public transit operating and capital expenses urgently needed by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
“We commend Premier Ford, Ministers Bethlenfalvy, Surma and Sarkaria, Mayor Chow, TTC Chair Jamaal Myers, and TTC CEO Rick Leary for working together on behalf of Toronto’s commuters to develop creative solutions to address operating and capital pressures facing the TTC,” said OPTA President, Karen Cameron.
The new deal announcement comes at a time when Ontario transit agencies have been struggling to fund new capital projects, while also contenting with operating deficits. The previous federal-provincial infrastructure program ended in March 2023, and the new Federal Permanent Public Transit Fund (PPTF) is scheduled to come online in 2026, leaving a significant infrastructure funding gap.
CUTA continues to call for the federal government to move up the start date of the $3 billion annual PPTF to 2024. CUTA recognizes the importance of a seamless and effective implementation of the PPTF for long-term public transit planning across Canada.
“Many Canadian cities face significant pressures when it comes to funding public transit, and today’s announcement only reinforces the need for transit funding in communities across Canada,” said CUTA President Marco D’Angelo. “Cities must be equipped to expand transit networks to meet rising demand. The alternative is more road congestion, commuter dissatisfaction and higher emissions.”
The new deal between Ontario and Toronto includes annual transit operating funding of $330 million over three years for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the Finch West LRT, over $750 million in funding for 55 new subway trains for the TTC’s Line 2, conditional on matching federal support, and $300 million in one-time funding for subways and transit safety, recovery and sustainability. The Province also agreed to take over responsibility for the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, resulting in the potential for significant savings for the city.
The new deal announcement follows a joint announcement last week by the governments of Canada, Ontario, and the City of Toronto of a combined investment of $568M for new street cars for the TTC.
“Our members are eager to collaborate with provinces and the federal government to ensure that transportation projects are developed efficiently, sustainably, and with an emphasis on accessibility for all residents,” added D’Angelo.
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)