Transit welcomes mayors’ call for extended support

October 13, 2021 1:00 pm. Published by

OttawaThe Canadian Urban Transit Association today added its voice to the call from big city mayors for extended financial support from the federal government.

“More than two million Canadians rely on public transit every day,” said Marco D’Angelo, CUTA’s president. “Last year’s emergency funding is running out. It’s time for the prime minister to work with the premiers to extend it. Service cuts would hurt too many people and make climate targets harder to meet. We need to keep transit running—now.”

Last year, Ottawa and the provinces provided $4.6 billion in assistance so transit systems could keep service levels relatively high despite severe drops in ridership. Though ridership has recovered since, it’s still about half pre-Covid levels. For every 10% drop in ridership, transit systems lose $470 million in revenue.

Without extended support, service cuts are all but inevitable said D’Angelo. That would mean workers and students who live too far from work or campus to walk or cycle could lose access to employment or education—or be forced to wait for hours or walk for miles, he said. Climate targets would be put even further out of reach as people who could afford to drive likely would as service became more infrequent and less convenient.

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