Canada slates C$3.4 billion for passenger rail

March 24, 2016

Written by  Keith Barrow, Associate Editor, International Railway Journal, appearing in Railway Age Magazine

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced details of phase 1 of the federal government’s new infrastructure plan, which was unveiled as part of the 2016 budget on March 22, 2016.Website Insert Coach Business Class Food Service copy

The budget allocates C$3.4 billionn (US$2.6 billion) in federal funding over the next three years to “upgrade and improve public transit systems across Canada” in a bid to satisfy the need for “immediate investment” in public transport.

To get projects moving quickly, the government says it will meet up to 50% of eligible costs, with funding allocated to municipalities based on the provincial share of national transit ridership. This means Ontario, which has 44% of ridership, will be eligible for up to C$1.48 billion from a new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, while Quebec would receive up to C$924 million and British Columbia up to C$460 million.

The government says the funding could be used for infrastructure upgrades on the Montreal metro; new subway cars and streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission; and accelerating design and implementation of major projects, including new light rail lines in Greater Vancouver and Ottawa.

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