Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday announced his government’s intention to spend $14.9 billion for public transit projects across the country over the next eight years. This includes permanent funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities beginning in 2026-27.
“When we invest in public transit infrastructure, we are supporting good middle class jobs, creating better commutes, fighting climate change, and helping make life easier and more affordable for Canadians,” said Trudeau. “We will continue to do what it takes to ensure our economic recovery from COVID-19 and build back a more resilient country for everyone.”
The federal government says this initiative will “provide cities and communities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future”.
The investment is expected to help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that many Canadians depend on every day, officials said.
It also aims to reduce pollution by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure, complementing the work of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
To promote healthy lifestyles in our communities, the government proposes to support active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.
It also hopes to identify and create transit solutions to help Canadians living in rural and remote areas and Indigenous communities travel to and from work more easily and access essential services.
“ Permanent, long-term funding for public transit will mean new subway lines, light-rail transit and streetcars, electric buses, cycling paths and improved rural transit,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. “It will mean that Canadians can get around in faster, cleaner, and more affordable ways. And it will help drive us to net-zero emissions and ensure a more sustainable future for our kids.”