Federal Parties Urged to Commit to Permanent Transit Funding

The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation is renewing its call for political parties to commit to a permanent transit fund during the federal election campaign – warning that rapid transit projects including SkyTrain to Langley and to UBC and other Phase Three Plan projects will be delayed if there is uncertainty about federal funding beyond current commitments.

Representatives of the Mayors’ Council, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) gathered at the annual UBCM Convention today in Vancouver to underline the importance of the next federal government establishing a permanent federal funding allocation to transit agencies, to expand service in order to keep up with growing public demand.

Without federal commitments through a permanent, predictable transit fund, our most critical transit projects are at risk of delay, and we face a future where traffic congestion and overcrowding on transit gets worse,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote, Chair of the Mayors’ Council. “One million more people are coming to Metro Vancouver in the next 20 years – that means expanding our transit system is absolutely critical if we’re going to protect our environment and quality of life, and keep our economy growing.”

Current funding commitments to TransLink from all levels of government – including federal funding up to 2027 – have been almost fully allocated to approved projects that are part of the 10-Year Vision.

Through its Cure Congestion campaign, the Mayors’ Council has joined FCM in calling for a permanent federal funding allocation that would deliver $34 billion for the 10-year plan (2028-29 to 2037-38) with $30 billion in allocation-based funding and at least $4 billion for the complimentary merit-based stream, with consistent funding of $3.4 billion each year during the 10-year period.

“This election is about building better lives, and one way we do that is when we build better transit,” said FCM President Bill Karsten. “The surge in public transit expansion we are seeing across the country is a clear sign that reducing commute times, and contributing to a cleaner environment, can massively improve Canadians’ quality of life. That’s why we’re asking each party to make a clear commitment in this campaign—to keep Canada on a reliable, uninterrupted path toward fast and accessible public transit.”

“As British Columbia’s urban regions continue to grow, they need reliable investments from federal and provincial governments in order to keep up with public demand for transit,” said Mayor Maja Tait, First Vice-President of UBCM. “UBCM is pleased to join the Mayors’ Council and FCM in calling on federal leaders to make long-term commitments that will help communities deliver more sustainable transportation options for Canadians.”

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