Transit and Transportation
Canada's cities and communities are hubs of economic activity, and social and environmental innovation. They compete for the world's top talent and foreign investment needed to boost Canada's productivity and prosperity. Be they remote communities in resource rich regions, or densely populated metropolitan areas, municipalities in Canada depend on a reliable, well-designed and safe transportation system.
It is no coincidence that some of the most dynamic places in the world - those that provide a high quality of life and drive national economies - also have some of the world's best public transit systems and transportation networks.
Lengthy daily commutes - among the longest in the developed world - are hurting our economy, environment and quality of life. The average commuter in Canada spends the equivalent of 32 working days a year travelling to and from work. Traffic congestion is estimated to cost the Toronto region alone up to $11 billion worth of lost productivity a year.
Reducing crippling gridlock through improved public transit will return tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity to the national economy as well as improve our environment. Predictable investments in transportation infrastructure are vital to keeping goods moving and businesses operating and maintaining a high quality of life for Canadians.
The recently announced Public Transit Fund responds directly to FCM's request for predictable transit investments by establishing a new, permanent fund for major public transit projects. Funding will be phased in over the next five years, ultimately reaching $1 billion in annual funding starting in 2019-2020 and continuing on a permanent basis. Commitments like the Public Transit Fund have the potential for a transformative impact in terms of building the major transit projects that are critical to cutting congestion, supporting economic growth and improving quality of life in our cities and communities.
FCM is calling on all federal parties to maintain $1 billion per year in permanent, dedicated funding for municipal public transit projects with the express goal of reducing gridlock and improving local mobility.
Many rural, remote, and northern communities lack the bridges, highways and airports to stay reliably connected to urban markets and to sustain local economies and quality of life.
Read more on FCM's solutions for addressing congestion and supporting sustainable growth in our 2015 election platform - A Roadmap for Strong Cities and Communities.