National Transit Strategy Endorsed by CUTA - Action Needed Now

    MONTREAL, March 5 /CNW/ - The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)
congratulates the Big City Mayor's Caucus of the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM) on its call for a National Transit Strategy today, and
encourages the federal government to take action and implement the strategy
    "The Big City Mayor's Caucus of the FCM sees the importance of transit in
Canada's municipalities, and should be congratulated for this important
initiative," says CUTA's President & CEO Michael Roschlau. "With growing
demand for transit services, the need for a plan, and for long-term
sustainable funding, is crucial to communities of all sizes."
    Based on current research commissioned by CUTA, almost three-quarters of
Canadians believe the federal government must do more to support public
transit infrastructure across the country, and two-thirds do not feel
confident that all three orders of government are working together for a
long-term solution to our transit infrastructure needs.
    "Canadian transit systems have infrastructure investment needs of
$20.7 billion over the 5 year period to 2010," adds Roschlau. "New investment
is crucial to expand service and maintain current operations in a state of
good repair." CUTA also supports added incentives to take transit, and
continues to call on the federal government to create a tax exemption for
employer-provided transit benefits, to make transit more competitive with free
    "If employers could offer a tax exempt transit pass to their employees
instead of a parking spot, transit could better compete with driving," says
CUTA Chair Penny Williams. "A simple change to the tax code could make this
incentive a reality."
    "A National Transit Strategy must also include the crucial link between
land use and urban development," declares Roschlau. "Land use densities and a
municipality's economic, social and environmental interests must be part of a
community's transit solution."
    Other key components of a National Transit Strategy supported by CUTA
include research to support transit innovation, and accountability measures to
ensure all governments work in cooperation with each other.
    "We look forward to our continued cooperation with the FCM and with the
federal government to target transit investments and resources," says CUTA
Chair Penny Williams. "Strong public transit helps Canadian cities maintain a
competitive edge while also offering a major solution to climate change and
environmental concerns, as well as economic and social sustainability."


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

    For the FCM's National Transit Strategy:

    For a full copies of CUTA's Infrastructure Needs report:

For further information:

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

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Canadian Urban Transit Association

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