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National Funding Program for Streetcar Systems in Mid-Size and Smaller Cities

WHEREAS the Government of Canada is a signatory to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil fuel consumption with more sustainable forms of energy;

WHEREAS providing increased opportunities in all of our cities for citizens to use electrified mass transit rather than gasoline-powered automobiles for the journey to work and other daily trips will greatly help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by urban transportation;

WHEREAS the majority of funding currently available through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund is being allocated to the construction of expensive Light Rail Transit systems in Canada’s larger cities, leaving most mid-size and smaller cities with inadequate transit systems composed primarily of fossil-fueled buses;

WHEREAS streetcar systems are appropriate in scale to mid-size and smaller cities and cost much less to build than conventional light rail transit systems, and provide a quality transit experience that helps attract ridership;

WHEREAS it is a goal of the Liberal Party of Canada to strengthen Canada’s manufacturing sector, both in the east and west, and there are established industries such as Bombardier in Ontario and New Flyer Industries in Manitoba that could take on the production of streetcar rolling stock;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to:

  • take a leadership role in the (re-) introduction of streetcars as a component of urban transportation systems; and
  • establish a separate funding program under the National Transportation Strategy to fund electric streetcar systems for mid-size and smaller cities.

NANAIMO—LADYSMITH

                                                                        Contact: Susan Stevenson

                                                                        susteven@shaw.ca

 

BACKGROUNDER

National Funding Program for Streetcar Systems in Mid-Size and Smaller Cities

This resolution has been prepared with input from Greg Barker, a member of the Nanaimo/Ladysmith Riding Association with over 35 years experience in city planning.  He is a former Director of Area Planning for the City of Edmonton, where he was responsible for Transit-Oriented Development, and the Smart Growth / Sustainable Development Program.

Streetcars are being re-introduced into many North American cities, as part of the strategy to create more dense, compact cities, and to increase transit ridership.  Cities that have built new streetcar systems within the past decade, include: Portland, Tacoma, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Cincinnati.

General information about these streetcar system projects and their impact / benefits can be found on the following websites:

www.modernstreetcar.org  

http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/

https://www.ltk.com/capabilities/streetcars  (Website of consulting company with expertise in the planning and construction of new streetcar systems)

“The Streetcar Renaissance – Background and Benefits; A Research Report for the St. Clair Avenue Transit Improvements” by Greg Gormick / On Track Consulting (2004) — provides information on a Canadian streetcar project.

Streetcar systems cost only about 1/10 of the cost of light rail transit systems.

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