Thursday, April 21, 2011

Canadians Say Transit Missing as a Priority from Governments

TORONTO, April 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - A Harris Decima survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Urban Transit Association reveals that although most Canadians live in communities served by public transit, the majority of these Canadians do not think governments have put enough emphasis on transit infrastructure.

"The majority of those surveyed (60%) say they are "deeply concerned that governments have not made public transit infrastructure the priority it needs to be,"" says CUTA Chair, Charles Stolte. "With city and community issues largely missing from the federal parties' platforms during this election period, there has to be a shift of focus to these important issues."

"Only 29% believe the federal government is doing enough to support public transit infrastructure across the country," says Michael Roschlau, CUTA President and CEO. "Canadians understand that the federal government must strengthen its role in ensuring public transit is adequately funded and supported."

CUTA is one of a number of stakeholders including mayors, the FCM, Boards of Trade, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), environmental groups, and related organizations calling for transit and community issues to be higher profile among political parties during this election campaign.

This polling research was designed to support CUTA's Transit Vision 2040 monitoring framework by seeking impressions and opinions of the general public on issues and matters related to public transit in Canada.

"Canadian transit users share a very positive outlook on the specific aspects of their system with three in four users rating all aspects as excellent or good," confirms Roschlau. "Whether they use public transit or not, the majority of Canadians living in communities served by public transit (64%) believe it is important or very important to have access to public transit in their community."

Seven in ten Canadians (69%) indicate they have access to public transit in their community. Of those who have access to public transit, two thirds (67%) use public transit regularly or occasionally in the course of their day-to-day activities. Regardless of whether they use it or not, the majority of Canadians living in communities with public transit (64%) attribute an excellent or good rating to the public transit system in their community.

"Considering that transit ridership is at an all time high, these findings cannot be ignored," concludes Stolte. "It's time to focus on public transit in this election campaign allowing voters to see the federal parties' plans for dedicated and long term support for public transit."

CUTA is the national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations in Canada.

The survey report is available upon request by emailing Maureen Shuell at

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