TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 2, 2013) - The Government of Ontario showed strong leadership in its budget today by setting the stage for dedicated, ongoing and sustainable investment in public transit.
"The commitment to new revenue tools and a permanent dedicated gas tax in support of transit infrastructure contained in today's budget demonstrates that public transit is a key priority. These new measures will help alleviate traffic congestion, provide more efficient mobility options and boost the economy, not only in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, but across the province of Ontario", said Norm Cheesman, CEO of the Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA).
"We commend the government for its visionary leadership in support of public transit. By supporting the concept of new revenue tools for transit, the Minister of Finance is giving transit systems and municipalities the resources they need to make a tangible difference in peoples' lives," added Michael Roschlau, President & CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA).
These new measures complement recent federal initiatives making permanent the federal Gas Tax Fund for municipal infrastructure and committing more than $53 billion to public infrastructure over 10 years through the new Building Canada Plan. The Government of Ontario is now leading the way by identifying public transit as one of its main priorities.
In the budget, Ontario has also called on the federal government to demonstrate leadership by dedicating federal funding for public transit. This builds on its desire to work with other provinces to develop an overarching approach to public transit, and the need for a comprehensive Canadian transit policy framework. As Ontario will host the next meeting of the Council of the Federation this summer, this provides the ideal forum for decision makers to make public transit a national priority.
"This is what we need to address today's challenges of steady urban and suburban growth, the aging of the population, the environment, and the economy. All orders of government need to come together to make investments that produce real and long-term benefits for future generations", concluded Roschlau.
OPTA is the provincial association whose members represent public transit systems, health and social service agency transportation providers, suppliers to the industry, and government representatives. For addition information, visit www.ontariopublictransit.ca
CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada. For more information about the organization, visit www.cutaactu.ca.