CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall’s Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 946 which represents workers with Cornwall Transit is joining a national call for more federal emergency dollars for public transportation.
A poll conducted by Probe Research on behalf of the Amalgamated Transit Union specifically asked if public transit should receive $5 billion in emergency funding from the federal government, eight-out-of-10 Canadians apparently answered yes.
“The pandemic has caused devastating declines in ridership and farebox revenue – and without this revenue, transit agencies cannot survive,” said ATU Local 946 President, Scott Szabadka. “We are asking the Federal Government to fund transit operations because municipalities are in financial chaos and the provinces are overwhelmed.”
The poll also indicated that 91 per cent of respondents agreed that providing safe and reliable public transit options were a part of the Federal Government’s responsibilities.
“Funding public transit is one of the most important ways that the Federal Government can take action to support the economy during this pandemic, as every dollar invested in transit equals three dollars in economic growth,” said Szabadka. “the government has a responsibility to provide operational funding, and it must recognize transit as a critical service that moves essential workers to important jobs – keeping Canadians safe during this crisis.”
Public transit ridership has dropped by 75 per cent across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic according to the ATU.
“As Canadians prepare for a return to work, and governments attempt to rebuild the economy, it is extremely important to restore pre-pandemic transit service levels,” said Szabadka.