June 21, 2020
Above: logos of some of the transit riders’ organizations that have joined the national coalition.
BFAST has joined a national coalition of more than 50 organizations that are pushing federal and provincial governments to help local transit systems recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The coalition, which you can visit at keeptransitmoving.ca, says local transit will need between $5 and $6 billion in emergency funding. It includes groups representing transit riders in cities across Canada, environmental organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Canada.
Bus-based transit systems have been unable to collect fares during the spread of COVID-19, since passengers could no longer enter through front doors in an effort to protect drivers. The lack of fare revenue has been coupled with extra expenses, such as personal protective equipment and plexiglass enclosures to protect operators.
“Transit is an essential service, especially to the most economically and physically disadvantaged people in our communities,” said BFAST Steering Committee Chair Doug Brown. “We congratulate Burlington’s city council on its continuing support of our transit system through this extraordinary time. But cities have limited means to finance efforts like this, and we need both federal and provincial governments to step up and help their communities.”
Transit supporters can sign a petition to support emergency funding at https://www.keeptransitmoving.ca/take-action.