Prime Minister Trudeau visits the Société de transport de Montréal
It is truly a pleasure to be here at the Youville garage. I’m sorry that it took a bit longer, but I am really curious. I had so many questions and received such great answers.
I am happy to be back in Montreal, and to be here at the Youville garage. The people you see behind me work hard every day to keep the public transportation network running and in good condition, and I know that the work can be very difficult.
The Société de transport de Montréal, like all public transportation systems in Canada, is under tremendous pressure to considerable a make improvements due to increased ridership. Passengers understand that. They know that reliable service is more than just a practical matter. They need this service to get them to work on time, or to the interview to get that job. Parents need it so that they can get to the soccer practice on time, or to get back home to spend time with their children at the end of a long day at work.
The work done here in this garage makes it possible to have better and more reliable service. Today, I am pleased to announce that we will be making new federal investments to support this important work. In last month’s budget, we announced that we would be investing $3.4 billion in public transportation over the next three years, beginning this year. This investment will help shorten commute times, reduce air pollution, strengthen communities and, consequently, grow Canada’s economy.
Greater Montreal will receive nearly $775 million over three years to achieve our objectives.
The investments we’re making here and across the country are based on system ridership. They will be used to increase capacity, enhance service, and deliver the fixes that transit systems have needed for a very long time. These projects… these include projects that municipalities have in their plans for years but simply haven’t had the money to complete. In Montreal, that could mean upgrades to subway tracks, bridges, signals and switches.
The investment we are announcing today has three differences. First, it is immediate. Municipalities will begin receiving the funds they need to start projects this year.
Second, it is more generous. The ensure that projects move ahead quickly, the federal government will finance up to 50 percent of eligible costs for a project.
And third, provinces and municipalities will be free to use the money in the most advantageous way for their community. They’re the local experts, they know best what has to be done.
We’re currently working to put some basic criteria in place. After that, it’ll be up to local governments to decide how to best invest in public transit in their communities. After all, local governments know what their communities need and what the future will bring.
Plus over the next year we’ll be developing the second phase of public transit investments to fund major projects like new bridges and new subway lines.
The day after the election, I spent the morning shaking hands at Jarry station in my riding station of Papineau. I did that because I wanted to personally thank everyone who gave me the chance to bring real change to communities across Canada. I chose Jarry station because I know how important the STM is to the people who use it every day.
Public transit makes the places we call home even better places to live. During the campaign, we promised Canadians that if elected we would make the investments in public transit that have been long overdue. I’m proud to be here today to deliver on that promise.
Once again, thank you all for being here today, and I will now take questions from the media.