Canadian Transit Forum - November 2010 / novembre 2010 - (Page 39)

Advocacy File FEDERAL BUDGET 2011: MAINTAINING STRONG CAPITAL TRANSIT INVESTMENTS EVERY YEAR IN THE AUTUMN MONTHS, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance conducts pre-budget consultations with Canadians and prepares a report for the Minister of Finance, which is a key ingredient in the following year’s federal budget. CUTA has participated in this process for the past 10 years, a period during which the federal government has played an important and increasing role in public transit. Federal capital investment in transit, non-existent in 2001, reached record levels in recent years, representing about one-third of total capital funding for transit in Canada. remaining $17.5 billion would need to come from various orders of government across Canada. Assuming an equitable three-way sharing of this investment, the federal portion would represent about $6 billion of additional investment, during a time when the federal government will allocate well in excess of $1 trillion in overall expenditure. Return on Investment The economic impact of transit investments is tangible and investments can be used as an economic driver during a period when the recover y is slow and fragile. Public transit currently employs some 45,200 persons directly, with a further 24,300 jobs in spin-off employment. Furthermore, over the past eight years, capital investment in transit totalled over $10 billion, which has produced nearly 140,000 jobs and nearly $21 billion in total economic output. In addition, transit reduces vehicle operating costs for Canadian households by about $5 billion annually and also reduces accident-related costs by about $2.4 billion annually. These facts, compiled in a recent study commissioned by CUTA, The Economic Impact of Transit Investment: A National Survey, clearly show that investing in transit provides a high return. Other benefits such as reducing our environmental footprint and improving the health of our fellow citizens must also be taken into account when making tough budget decisions. Incentives to Sustain a Growing Demand In the years leading up to 2009, Canadian public transit ridership had been growing at an average of over 3% per year, consistently outpacing the rate of population growth. In 2009, in the face of the economic recession and with unemployment rising from 6.6% to 8.5%, transit ridership declined significantly in the United States and Europe. In Canada, by contrast, transit ridership was stable at 1.82 billion passenger trips. In addition to providing capital investments, the federal government must consider alternative options to further stimulate this demand. A good way to achieve this objective is by providing incentives for transit use through policy 39 For more than a decade, CUTA has pursued a recommendation for tax-exempt status for employer-provided transit benefits. Investing in the Future Looking to the immediate future, it is clear that the fragile economic situation and the need to reduce the deficit must be taken into account by all sectors. Although the economic stimulus package will end in 2011 and everyone will be asked to tighten their belts, the government must also ensure that decisions made today will not reduce our ability to face tomorrow’s challenges. It is well known that Canada still has a serious infrastructure deficit and this must serve as a warning sign to prevent further cuts in that sector, and in particular in the transit industry. We must ensure that we tackle the infrastructure deficit at the same time as we are addressing the overall federal deficit. Allocations for transit infrastructure must be seen for what they are: an investment in the economy for current and future generations. As CUTA outlined in its pre-budget brief to the Standing Committee on Finance, the most recent national survey has identified a need for $53.5 billion in transit capital investment over the next five years. Of this total, $36 billion can be covered from existing sources; i.e. most of the money needed is already committed. The canadian transit forum | forum canadien sur le transport collectif

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Transit Forum - November 2010 / novembre 2010

Canadian Transit Forum - November 2010
Message from the President – The Economics of Public Transit
Message du président – L’économie du transport collectif
Éditorial collaboration spéciale de la vision 2040 – Assurer la santé financière des réseaux de transport collectif du Canada
Transit Vision 2040 Guest Editorial – Ensuring the Financial Health of Canada’s Transit Systems
Vancouver 2010 – Moving Experiences
Vancouver 2010 – Expériences en mobilité
Transit’s Infrastructure Needs
Besoins en infrastructures de transport collectif
The Advocacy File – Federal Budget 2011: Maintaining Strong Capital Transit Investments
Le dossier de la sensibilisation – Budget Fédéral 2011: L’importance des investissements fédéraux en transport collectif
Le Comité exécutif se réunit à Whitehorse
Executive Committee Meets in Whitehorse
Les gens du transport
People in Transit
Industry News
Des nouvelles de l’industrie
Trade List & Buyers’ Guide
Index commercial et guide des acheteurs

Canadian Transit Forum - November 2010 / novembre 2010