On Wednesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced details of Phase II of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF II), an 11-year federal commitment to transfer $20.1 billion in public transit infrastructure across Canada with a transfer method that will be determined based on negotiations with Canadian provinces and territories.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank, which will begin operating later this year, will set aside a separate $5 billion for transit projects involving private capital investment.
"By committing to long-term and dedicated transit funding, this government has empowered transit agencies to plan for the infrastructure projects that their communities need today, and the projects they will need in the future," said Sue Connor, chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and executive director of Brampton Transit. "But funding is only part of the equation. Now all levels of government, the transit industry and the Canadian public must work together to ensure that this funding is utilized in a way that maximizes economic, environmental, and social outcomes for Canadian communities."
The federal government will be working to sign bilateral agreements with provinces in the coming months regarding PTIF II ($20.1 billion). Provincial allocations will be based 70% on provincial ridership levels and 30% on provincial population. Federal cost share for individual transit projects will vary between 40% to 50% in provinces and 75% in territories. Up to 15% of a system's allocation will be eligible for rehabilitation projects.
"This investment will transform communities, strengthen the economy and put Canada on track to spark a sustainable change both in its urban spaces and within its transportation sector," said CUTA President/CEO Patrick Leclerc. "But the benefits will go beyond better transit service, Canada has an innovative and competitive transit industry that will see an increase in demand for its world class products right here at home."
The budget announced important reforms to Canada's fiscal framework. Included in the reforms was the elimination of the Public Transit Tax Credit. Over the last weeks and months CUTA has brought up with the government the importance of transit supportive measures in Canadian communities, in particular by maintaining the Public Transit Tax Credit in Canada.
"As the government moves forward with its agenda, CUTA will remain a trustworthy partner to the government and continue to provide the transit research, data and industry insight the government needs to ensure that PTIF II is a success," said Leclerc. "The utilization of data will be vital to the success of PTIF II. Through transit data, we can learn how an investment will be best utilized to meet set objectives, as well as quantify what quality of life benefits those investments have yielded for the Canadian public."