Federal budget stops short of predictable funding for public transit

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)
is discouraged that today's budget moves away from dedicated and predictable
investment in public transit.
    "Public transit needs long-term and sustainable funding," says CUTA
President and CEO Michael Roschlau. "Our governments must work together to
create a true National Transit Strategy."
    CUTA's survey of Canadian transit systems reported a $20.7 billion need
for public transit's capital infrastructure needs for the period 2006-2010.
Annually, about $4.2 billion is needed for the maintenance and upkeep of
current systems, and for transit expansion to accommodate more riders.
    "Today's commitment to the Building Canada Fund is appreciated but will
lead to more ad-hoc projects as opposed to an integrated, comprehensive plan,
as proposed by the FCM's National Transit Strategy," says CUTA Chair Penny
    "The expansion of the federal tax credit for transit pass users is a
welcome step in rewarding transit users," says Roschlau. "However, we are
disappointed that the long-standing request for a tax exemption for
employer-provided transit benefits has still not been recognized as one of the
most effective ways of using the tax system to promote transit use."
    "CUTA looks forward to continuing to work with this government to meet
the growing urban mobility needs of Canadians," concludes Williams. "A
partnership between all orders of government in creating a true National
Transit Strategy will ensure long-term, predictable funding for all

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

For further information:

For further information: Maureen Shuell, CUTA Director of
Communications, Tel. (416) 365-9800 ext. 105, www.cutaactu.ca

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Canadian Urban Transit Association

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