The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) released a statement following the completion of the federal government's national infrastructure roundtable. CUTA was represented by President/CEO Michael Roschlau.
"Today, the federal government brought together national stakeholders to have meaningful discussions about the new long-term infrastructure plan. We have shared with Minister Lebel and Minister Fletcher our vision about how the new plan must be designed to answer the needs of our ever-growing transit industry, support our economy, create jobs and provide a high quality of life for all Canadians. Over the last few months, the federal government held a series of regional roundtables where participants from all levels of government, infrastructure stakeholders and non-governmental organizations focused on the direction of the new infrastructure plan.
“CUTA's recommendations continue to be informed by the need for long-term, dedicated and sustainable funding for public transit. Over the last five years, federal capital investment has remained stable at about $1 billion per year. However, transit ridership is increasing at a pace exceeding 4% annually and ridership numbers have set new all-time records every year, with a total of 1.99 billion trips taken in 2011. To keep up with the increasing demand, capital investment should grow accordingly. Now more than ever, it is critical that all orders of government work together to make transit a top priority. As gas prices continue to increase and traffic congestion remains a major concern, Canadians are turning to mobility options that will help them save money and improve their productivity. Therefore, public transit needs to be a vital component of the government's infrastructure plan.
Moving forward, CUTA will continue to work with the federal government to build a long-term infrastructure plan that puts Canada on solid ground for years to come."