WHITEHORSE, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) is releasing a report today on the Economic Impact of Transit Investment in Canada that evaluates transit's economic benefit at over $11.5 billion per year, including job creation benefits of $3.7 billion. The report is being launched in Whitehorse where the CUTA Executive Committee is meeting for its annual business planning and strategy meetings.
"Investment in transit shows an impressive economic return," says CUTA President and CEO Michael Roschlau. "When job creation benefits are included, the cost benefit ratio of transit investment is well in excess of two to one (2:1)."
The study examines the benefits that arise from spending on transit infrastructure and operations, employment in the industry, and the effects of transit ridership on motor vehicle operating costs, collisions and emissions. The study also includes a statistical snapshot of the scale and distribution of current transit investment in Canada, a review of industry and academic literature on the economic benefits of transit, and a compilation of economic evaluations of individual transit projects from across Canada.
"The report shows that transit investment reduces the amount of public money that must be spent on everything from health care to municipal services such as water and wastewater," stresses CUTA Chair Charles Stolte. "For the average Canadian, this means lower taxes, more jobs, and a higher quality of life."
On September 2, 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented on this very point, underlining that "improvements to public transit have a real long-term positive economic impact." Indeed, according to the Prime Minister, "of all the solutions, public transit is the best. It is one area where smart infrastructure investments can make a big difference."
"We couldn't be more pleased to have such supportive comments from our Prime Minister," says Stolte. "We look forward to working with all orders of government to realize the potential transit holds for communities of all sizes as we work towards a National Transit Policy Framework."
"Whitehorse is a perfect example of a smaller city that has risen to the challenges of efficient and effective public transit. It is encouraging to see that a small community like Whitehorse with a population of just over 25,000 has a robust transit system that offers 100 per cent accessibility," said CUTA Chair Charles Stolte. "Being a small community that provides over 6,000 trips per day, Whitehorse is a great example of a city committed to sustainability."
"Making long-term investments in communities will keep Canada growing. Improving the efficiency of public transit has a real, long-term and positive economic impact," concludes Roschlau.
CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada.
A full copy of the report Economic Impact of Transit Investment in Canada: A National Survey and an Issue Paper summarizing the report may be found on the CUTA website.
For further information: For further information:
Maureen Shuell, CUTA Director of Communications
On site in Whitehorse on Sept 17, 2010: Cell: (416) 898-5600
Office: (416) 365-9800 ext. 105
For technical questions from an author of the report, you may contact:
Jeff Casello, Professor of Transportation, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 37538