Government of Canada makes significant investments in Toronto's public Transit System



    TORONTO, July 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The City of Toronto and the Toronto
Transit Commission (TTC) is $100 million richer thanks to the recent transfer
of federal funding from the Government of Canada for subway and bus
infrastructure.
    The $100-million investment represents one of the largest one-time
reimbursements for federal public transit funding ever made by the Government
of Canada. The federal funds transferred are a portion of an overall
commitment of $350 million to the TTC.
    "This investment demonstrates that the Government of Canada supports
infrastructure projects in Toronto which improve quality of life and economic
growth for residents and visitors," said Minister Cannon. "We've been able to
flow significant federal funding in the City of Toronto and the TTC as part of
our commitment to funding transit priorities right across the Greater Toronto
Area."
    Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the
Greater Toronto Area (GTA) called the substantial investment important for
Torontonians. "These are critical investments in modern public transit that
will help keep people moving efficiently throughout the GTA," said Minister
Flaherty. "The Toronto Transit Commission operates the third most heavily-used
urban transit system in North America, with approximately 1.2 million riders
each weekday. Commuters across this city will benefit from our government's
investment in the TTC."
    The $100 million payment addressed two components of the TTC's Strategic
Capital Projects:

    
    - $27.6 million was provided as a first payment for the purchase of
      78 subway cars. The overall cost of the subway car order is
      $236.7 million, with the federal government contributing a further
      $64.7 million to the project. The balance of these funds will be
      transferred once further invoices have been provided.
    - $72.4 million was provided as a first payment for the purchase of
      212 hybrid buses. Ultimately, a total of 324 buses will be purchased at
      a cost of $251.4 million, with the federal government contributing a
      further $43.4 million. Again, the balance of these funds will be
      transferred once further invoices have been provided.

    "I am pleased to be collaborating with our Federal partners to make
important investments in public transit that are good for the City and for
Canada," said Mayor David Miller. "Through partnerships with other governments
we are undertaking city-building initiatives that might otherwise be
difficult. The on-going improvements to our public transit system have been
greatly assisted by funding partnerships like the Canadian Strategic
Infrastructure Fund. Working together we can build a prosperous, livable city
that provides opportunity for all."
    "The people of Toronto rely on the TTC as an efficient, convenient and
environmentally-friendly way to get around the City," said Councillor
Giambrone. "This reimbursement from the Government of Canada will help to
ensure that the quality of service we provide remains high as demands on the
system continue to grow with the city."
    The federal funds transferred are a portion of an overall commitment of
$350 million to the TTC and the City of Toronto for improvements to subway
cars and subway infrastructure; streetcar infrastructure and dedicated
streetcar lanes; buses and bus infrastructure; and the PRESTO farecard system
for the GTA. The funding for these investments comes from the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), which supports large-scale strategic
infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further economic
growth.
    As with all federal contributions, funding is reimbursement-based, and
funds are transferred once the contribution agreement has been signed,
eligible costs have been incurred and all federal requirements have been
satisfied. This process ensures accountability and concrete deliverables for
all Canadians.
    Backgrounders on the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and the TTC are
attached.

                                 BACKGROUNDER
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                     CANADA STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
                     ------------------------------------

    The federal funding for these improvements comes from the Canada Strategic
Infrastructure Fund (CSIF). Through the fund, the Government of Canada works
with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the
private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country.
CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve
quality of life and further economic growth.
    The federal commitment of $303.5 million will allow for improvements in
the following areas:

    - Subway infrastructure - Seventy-eight new subway cars are being
      purchased and repairs or improvements are being made to tracks and
      tunnels; escalators and elevators; fire ventilation; and radio systems.
    - Streetcar infrastructure - Tracks will be repaired or replaced along
      numerous routes and dedicated streetcar lanes will be constructed on
      St. Clair Avenue.
    - Bus infrastructure - New hybrid buses are being purchased, and bus
      rapid transit links will be constructed from York University to
      Downsview Station and along Yonge Street from Finch Station to Steeles
      Avenue.

    An additional commitment of $46.5 million will be available to the TTC
upon successful completion of a proposal for a farecard for the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA).
    In addition to the $350 million the Government of Canada has already
committed to the TTC Strategic Capital Projects funding, the federal
government is providing nearly $1 billion in funding through FLOW, the federal
action plan for the GTA.
    The plan will help reduce congestion, cut commute times, clean our air and
improve the flow of goods and people in the GTA. FLOW funding is being
allocated to the following projects:

    - up to $95 million for the Brampton AcceleRide project;
    - up to $83 million for the Mississauga bus rapid transit corridor;
    - up to $85 million for the York VIVA Phase II - Stage I project;
    - up to $697 million to support the extension of the Toronto-York subway;
      and
    - up to $2.5 million to help the Region of Durham develop a long-term
      transit strategy.

    Through the $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan, the
Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to
help meet infrastructure needs across Canada
    Building Canada will invest in infrastructure that will support a stronger
economy, a cleaner environment, and more prosperous communities. In short - a
stronger, safer and better country.
    The Government of Canada is also allocating funds to several other transit
projects in the GTA, including:

    - $385 million for GO Transit; and
    - $50 million for York Region Rapid Transit - VIVA Quick Start.

    In addition, through the Gas Tax Fund, the federal government is providing
$407.3 million from 2005 to 2009, which will permit the TTC to purchase more
than 700 clean diesel and hybrid buses, 156 subway cars and 90 Wheel-Trans
vehicles.
    Gas Tax funding was increased to $2 billion per year for a further four
years from 2010 to 2014. Earlier this year, and in response to ongoing
requests for stable, long-term funding, Budget 2008 extended the
$2-billion-per-year fund beyond 2014 and made it permanent. This permanent
fund will provide municipalities with a reliable source of funding that will
help them better plan and finance their infrastructure needs.

                       THE TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
                       ------------------------------

    The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) moves 460 million people every
year - about 1.5 million riders every weekday. The TTC is the third largest
public transit system in North America serving some 4.5 million people in the
Greater Toronto Area, with a network of subways, streetcars, buses, and a
specialized service, Wheel-Trans, for people with disabilities. An arms-length
agency of the City of Toronto, the TTC is committed to meeting the growing
needs of the region with subway and light rail expansion, carrying an
additional 175 million riders by 2021. For more information, visit www.ttc.ca.

                                                                    July 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communicationsm, Office of the Mayor, City of
Toronto, (416) 338-7119; Media Relations: Communications, Transport Canada,
Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Danny Nicholson, Media Relations, Toronto Transit
Commission, (416) 420-0776; 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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