Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Toronto mayor John Tory at the Greenwood subway station Friday to announce much needed transit funding from the federal government for projects in Toronto.
The Liberal government will invest $840 million to Toronto for transit initiatives. This funding is part of the $3.4 billion budget for transit in the country, set out in the national budget released in March. Ontario as a whole is set to receive $1.5 billion of the transit money. Trudeau has indicated that the federal government will allow each of the municipalities receiving the money to use it towards whichever transit projects they deem the most pertinent.
The City of Toronto will use the funding for maintenance and repairs to the current transit system, including signal upgrades to the Bloor-Danforth line and new buses. The federal government has also promised to provide up to 50 per cent of the eligible cost of new projects, in addition to the promised funding. The Transit Alliance commends the City of Toronto for choosing to invest in upgrades that won’t have residents stranded between two stations on the Bloor line or sitting on a broken down bus in the middle of winter.
Though these are boring transit investments, the federal government’s pledge is necessary. It demonstrates a responsible government that isn’t using fluffy transportation initiatives to garner media attention, but instead wants to make real changes to transit problems. It is small announcements like this that shows Trudeau isn’t invested solely in cutting a red ribbon and flashing his pearly whites, but instead listens to his populous and understands its needs.
This year’s $3.4 billion is a part of the larger $20 billion promise (over 10 years) for transit funding that will hopefully fund larger projects like the Downtown Relief Line. Trudeau was joined by Ontario Transportation Minister, Steven Del Duca at Greenwood station to celebrate the beginning of the biggest funding in transit yet to date, and fulfill liberal promises to invest in important transportation infrastructure in Canada.
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