RAC Welcomes Federal Budget Support for Public Transit

    OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - The new federal budget has allocated up to
$500 million to support capital investments in public transit and established
a trust fund to encourage public-private partnerships.
    "The initiative will be good for rail commuters and for the environment,"
said Cliff Mackay, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada.
    Railways carry 65 million commuters and inter-city passengers annually in
Canada, ease traffic congestion in urban areas, contribute to cleaner air and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    "Rail passenger growth has been steady and will continue to grow as a
result of greater public awareness of environmental concerns, the higher cost
of gas and the impact of urban congestion," said Mr. Mackay.
    The industry's intercity passenger levels increased 3.4 per cent
year-over-year to 2005, and 10.7 per cent over the previous decade. The volume
of rail commuter passengers grew six per cent annually during the same period
and by an impressive 42 per cent since 1997 when the industry began tracking
rail commuter passenger levels in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
    "This announcement is most welcome because it will help Canada's rail
industry to expand and improve our services in an environmentally sustainable
way," said Mr. Mackay.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Roger Cameron, Railway
Association of Canada, (613) 564-8097, rogerc@railcan.ca

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Railway Association of Canada

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