Backgrounder:  Canada opens intake for the Rural Transit Solutions Fund’s Capital Project stream


Backgrounder: Canada opens intake for the Rural Transit Solutions Fund’s Capital Project stream

People living in rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities often depend on private vehicles for transportation and more often than not lack access to transit options. Additionally, people without access to private vehicles or who are unable to drive are isolated from essential services or are unable to travel with ease within their own community or to visit nearby communities.

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities. Launched in 2021, the Fund provides $250 million in federal funding over 5 years to support the development of locally-driven transit solutions that will help people living in rural communities get to work, school, appointments, and to visit loved ones.

From on-demand services, to publicly-owned ride shares, and volunteer community car-pooling, funding will help rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities to develop and offer new public transit options to their residents.

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund also supports reconciliation by helping to improve the safety of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited individuals who live in rural and remote areas by helping to establish safe and secure transit systems in their communities. Further, a minimum of 10% of the total $250 million funding envelope for the Rural Transit Solutions Fund will be allocated to projects that benefit to Indigenous populations and communities.

Rural public transit development in New Brunswick

The Acadian Peninsula Regional Service Commission is receiving over $1 million to implement a new transit system to serve communities in the region. They plan to acquire six regular buses and one accessible bus which will provide service on the regular routes, and five minivans to connect more remote areas to the regular routes. The project will also include the installation of signs to identify pick-up and drop-off points, two propane tanks to allow for refueling, an in-vehicle point-of-sale system and bike racks.

The Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick has received a $50,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study on the design and implementation of a public transit service in the Chaleur region. This study will analyze the viability of such a service and propose different scenarios for access to services in the region.

These projects will help the ongoing development of an inclusive and sustainable transportation strategy. Public transit systems encourage the rural population’s independence and resiliency, leading to improved economic, social and environmental circumstances in these regions.

Capital project intake now open

As of January 20, 2023, applications to the Rural Transit Solutions Fund, Capital Projects stream, will be accepted on a continuous basis. This stream helps cover capital costs like the purchase of vehicles or digital platforms, as well as to support the purchase of zero emission vehicles.

Through the Capital Projects stream, eligible applicants can seek contributions of up to $3 million to help cover the capital costs of a new or expanded transit solution (e.g., purchase of vehicles or digital platforms), and up to $5 million to support zero-emission transit solutions (e.g., for the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle(s)).

For more information on eligibility criteria, please consult the Application Guide for the Capital Stream of the Rural Transit Solutions Fund.

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