PM Trudeau pledges $14.9B for public transit projects in Canada

By: Levon Sevunts
he federal government plans to spend $14.9 billion over the next eight years for public transit projects across Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.
The announcement includes a permanent transit fund of $3 billion per year starting in 2026, Trudeau said, adding that it will provide municipal governments with stable and predictable funding for public transit projects.
Trudeau said the funding could be used for subway extensions, electrifying transit fleets, and for walkways and cycling pathways, as well as rural mobility needs.
“We need efficient and modern public transit systems that make our communities more connected,” Trudeau said at a virtual announcement.
The funding will also help support jobs in the Canadian manufacturing sector, Trudeau said.
“Canadian workers ‒ whether in Thunder Bay, Kingston, or Saint-Jérôme ‒ produce some of the world’s best buses, subways, and light rail trains,” Trudeau said.
“While these investments are good for the economy and crucial to our recovery from this global crisis, they’re also helping us achieve our climate goals.”
The development of public transit will help Canada exceed its 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, Trudeau added.

‘A landmark investment’

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities welcomed Wednesday’s announcement “as a landmark investment in the strong, nationwide recovery Canadians need.”
“This announcement builds on what’s working. The transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan (ICIP) has been empowering cities to move forward with vital system expansions,” Garth Frizzell, president of the FCM, and Don Iveson, chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus, said in a joint statement.
The permanent transit fund offers cities the long-term predictability they need to continue “delivering transformational system growth,” they added.
“This has the potential to make transit modernization a centrepiece of the job-creating, emissions-reducing, quality-of-life-enhancing recovery that Canadians deserve on the other side of COVID-19,” they said.
The FCM also welcomed the federal government’s commitment to funding transit in rural communities.
“Getting people moving is a priority in communities of all sizes across Canada,” the statement said. “So we’re happy to see a nation-building transit plan with distinct support for rural and regional transportation needs.”