Canadian government backs large transit construction
The Canadian government has provided more details about the new Public Transit Fund announced on June 18.
The “PTF” is focused on large-scale transit projects in big cities, specifically worth more than $1 billion. “In Canada’s largest cities, major public transit improvements are needed to reduce urban congestion and the cost of gridlock for Canadian commuters and businesses,” said the government in a follow-up June 22 release.
By dedicating $750 million in the next two years and up to $1 billion per year after that to these big projects, the government says that more money will be freed up from the New Building Canada and P3 Fund for transit projects in smaller communities.
Under the PTF program the government will contribute up to one-third of the costs of large transit projects, and has already earmarked support for the Smart Track proposal in Toronto. It would use existing surface railway corridors to bring people from the region’s outlying centres into downtown. Studies and consultations are currently going on over this proposal and other proposed transit lines in the city.
The government is also increasing its support under the P3 Canada Fund from 25% to 33.3%.
Major public transit projects already under way in other cities across Canada that have federal funding include the 12.5-km. electric light-rail Confederation Line across Ottawa, the Evergreen Line addition to the LRT system in Vancouver, and the Edmonton Valley Southeast Light Rail Line in Edmonton.
More details about the PTF fund are to be available in the fall of this year, but according to a press announcement, “decisions on support for a given project … will be contingent on the assessment of an application and detailed project business case.” The fund will be available for upgrades as well as new construction.
The government said “The new PTF will provide significant permanent support for large-scale public transit projects that will address congestion and reduce travel time, and provide broader economic and social benefits to Canada’s largest cities.”
Click here read the June 18 press release.