The Mayor of Calgary, quoted in The Globe:
Look, I’ll be a rhetorical politician for a minute: Investments in public transit are among the very best investments any government can make.
Think about all the benefits that accrue from that: There are environmental benefits. There are real benefits in congestion savings, which means you’re giving citizens back time that has been stolen from them. Transit is also an investment in social mobility, because if you make it easier to live and work and go to school without needing your own car, suddenly you open up the ability to participate in the economy to far more people.
But I think our provincial and federal governments have often seen transit as being at the bottom of the list.

Comments

  1. The trouble is that where you have good public transit, you have fewer Conservative votes… We’ll see what the federal budget has to say about infrastructure spending, and whether they attach any strings to the funding that limit spending on public transit.
    As for the Alberta PC party, I think they’re just very parochial and emotionally attached to the “glory days” of the pre-NEP 1970s and anything that reminds them that those days are over makes them angry.

    1. The Globe and Mail: “The federation did not see funding specifically allotted to public transit, as it had hoped, though the budget appears to offer a compromise by indexing federal gas transfers at 2 per cent annually and offering greater flexibility in terms of where that money can go.”
      CBC: “Investments now considered infrastructure for the purposes of drawing from the gas tax fund now include highways, local and regional airports, short-line rail, short-sea shipping, disaster mitigation, broadband internet connectivity, brownfield redevelopment, culture, tourism, sport and recreation.”
      No money for public transit, although I suppose cities could re-direct money previously allocated for other things.

  2. Look what’s always missing:
    I’m always interested to hear what first rolls off the tongue when government spending on infrastucture is mentioned:
    Obama: Feb 27, 2013 – The plan is to fix worn roads, bridges, ports, water and sewerage, and … The third and final leg of Obama’s infrastructure funding proposal
    From Edmonton.ca: “Edmonton’s infrastructure, the basic structural foundation of our city, includes the vast network of roads, bridges, sewers, recreation centres, libraries and other…”
    Wikipedia: “Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the … such as roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications,”
    Trucknews.com: …for municipalities, should be used for core infrastructure work such as roads, bridges and sewers and not squandered on sexier projects.
    Somehow we have to get public transit onto that list of go-to examples.

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