To All Commissioners
Re: Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan – Public Transit Stream
The report be NOTED and FILED.
On March 14, 2018, the Federal and Provincial Governments announced the finalization of their bilateral agreement, signalling the start of the next phase of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan that will see $180 billion invested in Canadian transit, green, social, rural and northern infrastructure. Over the next ten years, $20.1 billion of this investment will go toward improving the capacity, quality, safety of, and access to, public transit infrastructure through, what is being called the Public Transit Stream. All projects under this funding stream are expected to be completed by October 31, 2027 and the Government of Canada is expecting to make the final payments on the program by March 31, 2028.
In many ways, this new Public Transit Stream in the Investing in Canada program will be similar to the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), though there will be increased reporting requirements, a focus on capital and expansion projects as well as new stated targets and objectives for the funding. Most importantly, the program’s funding is about six times bigger, and it will run about three times longer, than the first phase of investment.
The Public Transit Stream will be eligible for the following federal cost share:
- 40% of Total Project Cost (TPC) for municipal and not-for-profit projects in the provinces
- 50% of TPC for rehabilitation projects
- 50% of TPC for provincial projects (without a municipality)
- 75% of TPC for projects in the territories and for projects with Indigenous partners
- 25% of TPC for for-profit private sector projects working in collaboration with an approved public entity
Also included in the agreement is the expectation that the Province of Ontario will fund a minimum of 33.33% of any municipal project, with the remainder of funding to be provided by the municipality. Distribution of these funds to transit systems/municipalities within the province/territory is based solely on system ridership, which resulted in an allocation of $204.9 million for London.
Projects not eligible for funding under this program include inter-city bus, rail, port or ferry infrastructure that are not part of a public transit system. Also ineligible are; prior costs to project approval (except climate lens assessments), cancelled projects, land acquisition, overhead costs, financing charges, legal fees, interest payments, donations, PST, HST, regularly scheduled maintenance work, and operating expenses. Ontario’s agreement also allows the province to combine the ridership of multiple systems into a single allocation to facilitate integration of the systems.
Central to this new fund is the concept of Infrastructure Plans, which province/territories will need to submit to the federal government by September 30, 2018. Infrastructure Plans will be updated annually by province/territories and will serve as the province/territory’s project pipeline for the next three years, at a minimum. This means municipalities will need to plan their projects well in advance and ensure that they are included in the province/territory’s Infrastructure Plan. Projects captured in a province/territory’s plan are not automatically approved for funding, but it will be a key tool to plan and budget for investments within the province/territory. These plans will also include a narrative section that will describe how the investments are working towards meeting the province/territory’s targets and outcomes stated in the bilateral agreement.
With regards to reporting requirements and targets, this program will be much more comprehensive than any previous transit infrastructure program from the federal government. Targets will be set for each province regarding increasing the modal share of transit and active transportation (Ontario: at least a 25% increase), increasing system coverage (Ontario: 95% population coverage in service area) and contributing to a national 10 mega-tonne GHG emission reduction. The Ontario agreement states that the modal shift target could be reviewed and adjusted by Canada, Ontario and CUTA, if necessary.
Projects with over $10 million in federal funding will have increased reporting requirements. This includes a Climate Lens Assessment that looks at GHG emissions and climate resiliency, as well as the Community Employment Benefits for federal target groups (apprentices – from traditionally disadvantaged communities, Indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, youth, new Canadians, or small-medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises). It is possible to apply for an exemption from these reporting requirements.
All projects under the fund are expected to meet the highest published, applicable accessibility standard in their respective jurisdiction as well as meet or exceed energy efficiency standards laid out in the Pan Canadian Framework. Projects are also expected to be consistent with land-use/transportation plans or strategies and consistent with the approved plans of regional transportation bodies.
With respect to London’s application, the majority will be applied to the implementation of the Rapid Transit System, noting this specific project has already received a commitment from the Province of Ontario for approximately $169 million in funding, which meets the expectations of Provincial contribution. The remainder of the Federal funding will be applied to the Adelaide Grade Separation Project. Consistent with the approach taken with the Public Transit Infrastructure Funding Phase I Program, LTC administration will work with civic administration to complete all applications and file all reports as necessary.
Recommended by – Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager