Canada's Transit Infrastructure Needs Attention: $53 Billion for the Next 5 Years

A new national survey released by the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) on April 3 shows that the total value of transit infrastructure plans for the 2012-2016 period amounts to $53.5 billion. Thanks to strong commitments by all orders of government, $40 billion can be drawn from existing funding streams. The remaining $13.5 billion will have to come from new or additional sources.

The survey also shows that the infrastructure funding gap between transit plans and available funding is shrinking. Indeed, it is expected that 75% of the transit infrastructure needs will be met by existing programs during the 2012-2016 period, up from 67% for 2010-2014, and 50% for 2008-2012. In fact, 27% of the funds is needed to rehabilitate or renew existing infrastructure, while 73% is identified to expand capacity for ridership growth.

Investment in transit shows an impressive economic return. The economic benefit of Canada's existing transit systems is at least $11.5 billion annually, or almost 1 per cent of Canada's entire gross domestic product. Over the last few years, all orders of government have made record-level investments in public transit. These investments have paid off: ridership is on a steady rise with all-time records being set every year; and transit is enhancing the global competitiveness of Canadian cities, which helps attract new foreign investments.

For a full copy of the Infrastructure report download Transit Infrastructure Needs for the Period (PDF) from the Canadian Urban Transit Association.