Government of Canada rolls out first federal fund dedicated to rural transit solutions

News release

Chipman, New Brunswick, August 3, 2021 – People living in rural and remote communities often depend on costly private vehicles for transportation. A lack of transit options can also contribute to feelings of isolation as well as to health and safety risks.

That is why today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, together with Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi—Grand Lake, Keith West, Mayor of Chipman, and Erica Barnette, Mayor of Minto, announced the launch of the $250 million Rural Transit Solutions Fund—the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities.

The Government of Canada has heard loud and clear that more funding is needed to develop and implement transit solutions that address the particular needs of rural, remote and small communities. The Rural Transit Solutions Fund supports the development of locally-driven transit solutions that will help people living in rural and remote communities get to work, school, social services, run errands and visit loved ones.

From on-demand services, to publicly-owned, electric vehicle ride shares, and volunteer community car-pooling, eligible communities and organizations from across Canada will be able to submit applications to the new Fund. The initial call for applications under the Fund will include grants of up to $50,000 in support of project planning for future capital projects or pilot projects, up to $3 million to help cover capital costs (e.g. purchase of a vehicle or digital platforms) and up to $5 million to support zero-emission transit solutions (e.g. for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles).

Recognizing that some services may be located in different towns, funding under the Fund encourages connections between nearby communities within the same region.

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is part of the nearly $15 billion public transit investment announced in February by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. By creating jobs, promoting inclusion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transit funding delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to Canadians. 

Quotes

“Millions of Canadians call our rural communities home – myself included. It’s essential we can get around as safely and efficiently as those in urban centres. That’s why we’re investing $250 million across Canada through the Rural Transit Solutions Fund. Not only will this help rural Canadians get to work and access critical services more easily, it will create good jobs, grow our local economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help rural Canada build back better than before.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • One in five Canadians live in rural communities. Rural communities in Canada account for nearly 30% of the nation’s gross domestic product.

  • The new Rural Transit Solutions Fund will provide $250 million over 5 years, starting in 2021-22, to help Canadians living in rural and remote areas get around their communities more easily. It supports the development of rural transit solutions, including new transit service models that could be replicated or scaled up. It is not designed to support long-distance inter-regional travel routes that connect cities across regions, provinces, and territories. 

  • More information about the Rural Transit Solutions Fund, details on eligibility, and how to apply may be found on the Infrastructure Canada website

  • Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • In February 2021, the Prime Minister announced nearly $15 billion in available funding for new public transit infrastructure projects over the next eight years, and funding of $3 billion per year on an ongoing basis beginning in 2026-27. 

  • The Rural Transit Solutions Fund complements Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. The plan commits the federal government to provide permanent federal funding for public transit in support of making clean and affordable transportation available in every community.

Associated links

Contacts

Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
873-355-9576
Emelyana.Titarenko@infc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: media@infc.gc.ca
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