Public Transit Must Stand Out as Key Priority during Election

CUTA Calls on Party Leaders to make Transit a Priority

TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - As party leaders prepare for the National Leaders Debates this week, the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) is calling on the federal party leaders to make public transit a key priority during the election.

Transit issues received significant attention early in the campaign. Despite this, federal parties are still short on firm commitments to specific projects or dedicated envelopes of funding for transit needs.

"CUTA is pleased to see that each of the federal party leaders has made reference in support of transit; however, we remain concerned that transit has not been identified as a high-level priority," says CUTA President & CEO Michael Roschlau.  "We hope that the leaders' debates this week will provide an opportunity for the party leaders to lay out their plan for public transit."

"A long-term vision for public transit is critical in helping to tackle key national challenges currently facing Canadians, such as easing traffic congestion and gridlock, reducing emissions and improving quality of life," says CUTA Chair, Charles Stolte. "It plays a vital role in boosting Canadian cities' productivity and competitiveness, and accommodating population growth and a modal shift towards public transit."

Other stakeholders, such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and city mayors, have also called for a bold vision coupled with permanent and adequate federal transit investments.

"Today, transit ridership is at an all-time high," continues Roschlau.  "The party leaders have a chance to be clear with Canadians during the debates about their transit priorities, and demonstrate some vision for Canadian cities."

"During this election campaign, all parties must step up to the plate and make real, strong commitments for public transit," concludes Stolte. "Through the implementation of a long-term, comprehensive plan, Canadian transit systems can achieve their true potential and provide significant economic, environmental and social benefits for the entire nation."

For updates on transit issues during the campaign, see the CUTA website.

http://cutaactu.ca/en/publicationsandresearch/ElectionsWeeklyUpdate.asp

CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Urban Transit Association

For further information:

Maureen Shuell, CUTA Director of Communications
(416) 365-9800 ext. 105 (office)
www.cutaactu.ca

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Canadian Urban Transit Association

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2011

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