Ottawa will be giving cities less help with new transit construction under the 2017 federal budget.
Last year, the federal government cost-shared up to 50 per cent of the price tag for transit projects that included system upgrades, fleet upgrades, or new large-scale projects. This year, Ottawa is only offering to kick in 40 per cent of the cost for new transit construction and expansion in cities.
The federal government is also changing how they calculate the funding each province can get. Last year, transit funding for each province and territory was based on the jurisdiction’s share of national public transit ridership. This year, the funding will be calculated with a formula based on ridership (70 per cent) and on population (30 per cent).
New Brunswick Finance Minister Cathy Rogers told Global News she’s happy to see the change in formula for calculating funds.
However, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said cities had been hoping for a bigger cost share on transit projects. Savage said he’d like to see whether the province can “step in and fill any gaps” in transit funding.