Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged almost $15 billion to enhance public transit in Canadian cities, but the funding won’t start until 2026.
On Wednesday, Trudeau said the Canadian government is providing $3 billion-a-year transit transfers to cities for up to eight years for a total investment of $14.9 billion.
He noted the investment in public transit projects will help shorten commute times for families, create middle-class jobs, grow the economy, and reduce air pollution.
“When we invest in public transit infrastructure, we are supporting good middle-class jobs, creating better commutes, fighting climate change, and helping make life easier and more affordable for Canadians,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“We will continue to do what it takes to ensure our economic recovery from COVID-19 and build back a more resilient country for everyone.”
According to the federal government, these investments will:
- Help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that Canadians depend on.
- Reduce pollution and create jobs for Canadians by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure, “complementing the work of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.”
- Support “healthy lifestyles” by meeting the growing demand for active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.
- Help Canadians living in rural and remote areas travel to and from work more easily and access essential services by working with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities to identify and create transit solutions that meet their needs.
- Support cities and communities by making a permanent and stable federal commitment to funding public transit, and facilitate partnerships between all orders of government, Indigenous communities, transit agencies, and other stakeholders to develop an approach to permanent public transit funding in a manner that offers the greatest benefits to Canadians.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion in 1,300 public transit projects for communities across Canada.