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Federal government announces an investment in public transit systems across Canada

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Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the Government of Canada intends to introduce legislation to invest up to $750 million to support municipalities facing transit operating shortfalls, in collaboration with provinces and territories. This one-time payment would help cities maintain service levels despite decreased ridership as a result of the pandemic.

To increase the impact of this investment, funding would be conditional on provincial and territorial governments matching this federal contribution and accelerating their efforts to improve housing supply, in collaboration with municipalities.

By supporting municipalities to maintain their public transit systems and encouraging all levels of government to work together, this partnership would support Canada’s economic recovery and make life more affordable in cities across the country.


“Fast, affordable, and reliable public transit is essential to making our cities liveable and to our economic recovery. Public transit helps Canadians get to work, reduces traffic congestion, and improves air quality. For many Canadians, it is also the only viable option for getting around. This investment will help keep Canadians moving and ensure our economic recovery leaves no one behind.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Canadians rely on public transit to get to where they need to be, 365 days a year. The pandemic has been a challenge for transit operators across the country, but they have worked around the clock to support commuters. Our government will continue to work collaboratively with our municipal and provincial partners to ensure that public transit remains reliable, timely and affordable.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

Quick Facts

  • The federal funding would be allocated to provinces and territories based on the formula already used for the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This calculation is based on a mix of transit ridership (70 per cent weight) and population (30 per cent weight).
  • In July 2020, the federal government announced it would invest up to $2 billion to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs and $2.4 billion to cost-match any additional provincial/territorial contributions to public transit operations under the Safe Restart Agreement.
  • In March 2021, the federal government provided a one-time additional investment of $2.2 billion to address infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities by doubling the Canada Community-Building Fund.
  • This proposed investment is also in addition to the $14.9 billion over eight years, with $3 billion per year in permanent funding starting in 2026-27, announced in 2021 for public transit projects across Canada.

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