The Cut My Commute campaign is underway in Calgary. Staunchly supported by Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart, the idea is to get Calgarians out of their cars and into the public transit system. This would reduce traffic tie-ups and decrease pollution at the same time. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, or FCM for short, is leading the charge, including an interactive themed transportation challenge. Part of what FCM wants to accomplish is to encourage Canadians to advise the Federal Government about transportation and infrastructure issues in their areas.
In Calgary, the ball has already started with that city’s RouteAhead plan. The program, which is expected to cost some $12.9 billion over 30 years, is intended to beef up the transit system to better serve residents. So far no funding has been secured for the project, but officials are working on that problem. FCM noted that currently governmental funding for public transit is in the range of $3.25 billion. The agency would like to see that boosted to roughly $5.75 billion.
Cut My Commute has done its own analysis on public transit spending. It found that nationwide; Canada’s traffic gridlock costs the economy some $10 billion each year. In the largest metro areas, commutes average 63 minutes. That translates into the equivalent of 32 working days spent behind the wheel per Canadian commuter.
Cut My Commute also found that Canada’s cities and communities invest some $12 billion per year on infrastructure. Over $10 billion has gone towards public transit during the last decade. Nearly 52 percent of roadways in municipalities are in need of repair. In addition 25 percent of the nation’s water treatment plants need upgrades of some sort.