Transit systems to Premier Higgs: Deliver Transit Help
For immediate release
Ottawa—The Canadian Urban Transit Association today said it was disappointed the latest New Brunswick budget again overlooked transit systems hard-hit by lower ridership due to the pandemic.
Before Covid, more than half the cost of running transit came from fares. But with ridership down by about half, lost transit revenue is the single-biggest shortfall in municipal budgets. To fill the gap and keep transit running, in 2020 the federal and provincial governments delivered unprecedented operating support. Last month, Ottawa announced it would provide up to $750 million in additional funding—but only to provinces that match it.
“Transit systems are calling on Premier Higgs to take the Prime Minister up on his offer to keep transit running. Thousands of New Brunswickers rely on transit every day and more need alternatives to high gas prices. New Brunswick shouldn’t make the same mistake twice. This time, it needs to keep transit running,” said Marco D’Angelo, President of the Canadian Urban Transit Association.
New Brunswick would be eligible for about $6 million in federal funds if it provides funds of its own, as the cities of Fredericton and Saint John have both requested. In 2020, it was the only province with publicly operated transit to refuse any federal support at all. As a result, service levels fell by 30% compared to the national average of only 8%.
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Communications & Public Affairs Specialist