This week’s federal budget had little to get excited about from a VIA Rail perspective – operating funding for the next 3 years will remain at levels that are barely enough to maintain the current system, and there’s no new funding for fleet replacement or other capital projects. One can always hope that these projects may still be in the plans for the near future, but as always, it’s worth contacting your MPs to continue to let them know that you support better funding for passenger rail.
Marine Atlantic also continues to be funded at current levels for the next 3 years.
However, there are some positives for public transportation in the budget, including continued plans to fund more urban transit projects across the country. In some cases, this might involve light rail or commuter rail projects. The details of those funding arrangements won’t be finalized until later in the year, but they are expected to continue much of the positive work that the infrastructure funding in last year’s budget began.
You can view the full budget document online here: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/budget-2017-en.pdf