Trudeau promises Toronto $840 million in transit funds
Toronto will receive up to $840 million in federal transit funding, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today at the Greenwood Subway Yard in Toronto. The exact number is subject to cooperation from the province, but the Prime Minister noted that "Toronto will start to receive funds this year."
Flanked by Mayor John Tory and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, Trudeau pledged the support of his government for Toronto's unique transit needs. Given the location, there was some hope that the announcement would relate to a Downtown Relief Line, but the funds will not be that robust.
The money has not been earmarked for a particular project and appears not to be planned for infrastructure expansion at all. Both Trudeau and Tory mused that the funds might be used to upgrade the nuts and bolts of the transit system, things like track repair, updated signal systems, and the replacement of old vehicles.
The TTC currently has $2.4 billion in unfunded state-of-good-repair projects, something that this investment will go a considerable way towards addressing. Today's investment announcement represent a little more than half of the the money set aside for Ontario in the federal budget.
Trudeau characterized this as phase one of federal transit funding, and promised that a second phase would help to fund new projects. That's vague, of course, but there's still hope that more funds are on the way from the federal government.
Photo by BruceK in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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