Transit systems to Alberta government: Thank you
Ottawa—The Canadian Urban Transit Association today thanked the Alberta government after Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney announced the government will provide $79.5 million for public transit. Coupled with federal funds, this will deliver almost $160 million to keep Alberta transit running.
Last month, the federal government announced it would provide up to $750 million to help cities cover the costs of running public transit while ridership is down due to the pandemic. Alberta is the first province to partner with Ottawa.
“Transit systems thank Minister Sawhney and Premier Kenney for their support. Every day, about 300,000 Albertans rely on transit to get to work, school, and for daily life. Today’s announcement means buses and trains will keep running as they have throughout the pandemic,” said Marco D’Angelo, CUTA’s president. “Public transit is essential to cities, and Alberta’s support is needed and welcome.”
When Covid began, the federal and provincial governments delivered an unprecedented $4.6 billion to keep transit running even as ridership plummeted. These funds are expiring, but ridership is still at about half pre-pandemic levels. About 40% of the cost of running Alberta transit came from fares. For every 10% drop in ridership, Alberta transit systems lose $31 million in revenue. Without extended support, service reductions would likely be inevitable.
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Senior Policy & Public Affairs Officer