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.
“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
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.