Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Note to Federal Government: We need more money for Public Transit...

The federal government just recently announced its planned 2008/09 budget. Transit highlights include making a $500m transit fund and making the gas tax transfer to municipalities permanent. While this is good, the federal government's contributions to public transit has been rather lackluster compared to the capital that needs to be invested.

Public Transit Funding in Recent Years 2005 and onward

Public Transit Fund I $400m (53m to BC)
Public Transit Fund II $500m
Public Transit Capital Trust $900m
Canada Strategic Infrastructure Program
Canada Line (BC) $450m
GO Transit (Ontario) $385m
Mississauga Transitway $83m
Toronto Transit Commission $350m
York Region Transit $135m
Total: $3,203

Gas Tax (not all money goes to transit.) $2,000m ($253m to BC) [to date]

Now lets to put this into context. The CBC gets $1,600m a year for its TV and radio operations. So, since 2005 CBC has received $4,800m. Right now, the province of Ontario is looking for $6,000m for its MoveOntario transportation program and the province of BC is looking for $3,100m from the 2020 Transit to Everywhere, but the Fraser Valley Plan. The federal government really needs to look at a long term funding program for Public Transit that will allow for better, planned investments that will have the result of getting better cities and reducing green-house-gas causing emission.

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