Dramatic transit ridership growth requires action from governments and transit systems



    OTTAWA, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - National transit ridership and investment are
both at all-time highs today, and transit is key to prosperous and livable
communities. However, a detailed report from the Canadian Urban Transit
Association (CUTA) says governments and transit systems must take proactive
steps to ensure that transit lives up to its potential.
    Transit Vision 2040 predicts that ridership levels will grow by 86%
between now and 2040. Without a coordinated and strategic approach, transit
systems across Canada will be unable to make their full contribution to our
quality of life.
    "By 2040, Canadian society will look very different than it does today.
Canada's population is projected to grow to 40 million, and our population
will be growing older as well," says John King, CUTA's Vice Chair of Small
Transit Systems. "Transit Vision 2040 takes a proactive approach to enhancing
our quality of life and ensuring that we make the right choices today to build
a sustainable future for tomorrow."
    CUTA consulted widely to produce Transit Vision 2040. It sought input
from eminent Canadians including former provincial premiers, former federal
cabinet ministers, economists, academics, journalists and scientists. Transit
Vision 2040 has six major themes that call for action from governments and
transit systems:

    
    1.  Put transit at the centre of communities
    2.  Revolutionize service
    3.  Focus on customers
    4.  Green transit
    5.  Ensure the financial health of transit
    6.  Strengthen knowledge and practice
    

    "Together we recognize that sustainable development can't happen in
isolation - a sentiment that is reflected in Transit Vision 2040," says Alex
Cullen, Chair of the City of Ottawa's Transit Committee.
    "In the image of Vision 2040, Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO)
has also adopted a Strategic Development Plan to ensure the mobility and
vitality of the region's growing population now and for the years ahead.
However, this work cannot be done in a vacuum. It involves actions and
gestures by every level of government, because we are building the future
together, right now! This is why the STO supports the CUTA initiative,"
declares STO President Patrice Martin
    "We face mounting urban growth, roads are increasingly congested and it
is a huge undertaking to revitalize and expand our existing infrastructure,"
concludes CUTA Chair Charles Stolte. "The decisions we make today will have
significant implications for our future and for our children's future."
    CUTA held news conferences today in Gatineau and on Parliament Hill to
publicly release the report on Transit Vision 2040. Participants included:

    
    -   Michael Roschlau, CUTA President and CEO
    -   John King, CUTA Vice Chair, Small Transit Systems
    -   Anne-Louise Chauvette, Pooya Rafiee, CUTA Youth Delegates
    -   Alex Cullen, Chair of the City of Ottawa's Transit Committee
    -   Patrice Martin, Chair, STO (Gatineau)
    

    CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems,
suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related
organizations in Canada.
    To download Transit Vision 2040, visit www.cutaactu.ca/en/node/1872
    For association information, visit www.cutaactu.ca





For further information:

For further information: Maureen Shuell, Director of Communications,
(416) 898-5600 (cell) (on-site in Ottawa); (416) 365-9800 ext. 105 (voice
mail)

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