Building Strong Cities Through Investments in Public Transit

Canadian cities have been growing at a rapid rate, but investment in public transit has not kept pace. This has led to more traffic congestion, and long commutes that make it harder for people to get to work and for families to spend time together.

The gridlock that results has a serious financial impact—costing Canada's economy billions of dollars in lost productivity each year—and is damaging to the environment.

To improve and expand public transit systems across Canada, Budget 2016 announced immediate federal investments of up to $3.4 billion in public transit, starting in 2016–17 to be provided through a new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

These investments are helping to improve commutes, cut air pollution, strengthen communities and grow Canada's economy.

Canadians need immediate investments in their communities' public transit systems, so that they can get to work on time, and back home at the end of a long day. The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund is making these long overdue investments. Funding is being provided to support the rehabilitation of public transit systems; the planning of future system improvements and expansions; enhanced asset management; active transportation projects; and system optimization and modernization.

Projects include:

  • Upgrades to subway tracks, bridges, signals and switches for the Montreal Metro;
  • Fleet replacement, including the purchase of new subway cars, low-floor buses, and street cars by the Toronto Transit Commission; and
  • Accelerated design, implementation and construction work for new large-scale projects, such as new light rail transit lines in Greater Vancouver and Ottawa.

To get projects moving quickly, the Government is funding up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for projects. Funding under the program has been allocated to municipalities based on ridership, as per the PTIF allocations table.

*Taken from the CUTA 2014 Fact book.

To learn more about the program, see the Program Overview.

Public Transit Expected Outcomes:

  • Improved reliability, efficiency, safety and accessibility of public transit systems
  • Large municipalities are planning for future system improvements and expansion

Examples of Eligible Projects:

  • Refurbishment or replacement of existing rolling stock;
  • Replacement or enhancement of transit stations;
  • Expenditures to support the asset management capacity;
  • Projects for system expansion; and,
  • Expenditures to support the design and planning for the future expansion and improvements to public transit systems, including:
    • transportation demand management measures and studies; and,
    • pilot projects related to innovative and transformative technologies.