Funding for Quebec City to Windsor high-speed rail studies



    OTTAWA, Jan. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that the
Government of Canada will fund up to one third of the cost of updating
feasibility studies, including a passenger forecast study, for a high-speed
rail service between Windsor, Ontario and Quebec City. The cost of the studies
will be shared jointly with the Governments of Ontario and Quebec.
    "This government is committed to examining alternatives that offer
comfortable, faster and more reliable passenger rail services that will also
contribute to reducing greenhouse gases and other emissions," said Minister
Cannon.
    Such studies would need to examine the environmental and economic
business case for such a service. As well, there is a need to assess the
opportunity for private sector participation in the development and
implementation of such a concept, so that taxpayers do not have to shoulder
the entire financial burden of such an initiative. From previous studies,
there may be opportunities for a public-private partnership.
    These studies will be in addition to the recent $700 million in funding
provided to VIA Rail for its network and equipment, which will allow VIA to
provide more frequent service at higher operating speed and improve its
on-time performance in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. Equally important,
VIA's fleet refurbishment program will contribute to improving VIA's
environmental performance through increased fuel efficiency and reduced
greenhouse gas emissions. Once VIA's F-40 locomotive rebuild program is
complete, VIA will have one of the most fuel efficient fleets of diesel
locomotives of any rail passenger operator in North America.
    "In addition, I am calling on the Ontario and Quebec Governments to do
their part by continuing to invest in public transit in their respective urban
centres, to ease congestion and contribute to cleaner air for Canadians,"
added Minister Cannon.
    "It is critical to note that Canada is just beginning to address
priorities for sustainable public transit, particularly in large urban centres
such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal, and Quebec
City. We must continue to support this effort by putting Canadian taxpayers'
dollars to good use to ease congestion and clean the air we breathe,"
continued Minister Cannon.
    The Government of Canada has recognized public transit as a funding
priority through Building Canada, its $33-billion, seven-year, long-term
infrastructure plan.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport
Canada; This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.


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