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Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Public transit assets

Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Public transit assets

Statistics Canada, in partnership with Infrastructure Canada, has launched a catalogue of the state of the nation's infrastructure to provide statistical information on the stock, condition, performance, and asset management strategies of Canada's core public infrastructure assets. This fifth release presents findings on public transit assets.

Key Findings:

Municipalities own over nine-tenths of all public transit assets

  • 315 government organizations across Canada owned public transit assets; most of these were municipal governments (292).
  • Municipal public transit assets consisted of 17,852 buses of various types, 3,479 railcars, 1,281 specialized transit vehicles, 247 streetcars, and 12 ferries.
  • There were 28,140 transit shelters and 740 passenger stations and terminals in 2016.
  • 96.6 percent of passenger stations and terminals and 91.8 percent of transit shelters were owned by government organizations

Large provincial variation of public transit assets in poor condition

  • 57.2 percent of all buses were purchased before 2009, with as much as 33.6 percent of buses reported below "good" condition
  • Manitoba (45.2%), Nova Scotia (39.5%), and New Brunswick (32.5%) had the highest proportion of buses in poor or very poor condition. 
  • 42.8 percent of all public rail-cars were purchased before 1999, with 39 percent of rail-cars reported below "good" condition
  • Alberta (39.0%) and Quebec (26.4%) reported larger shares of their railcar fleet in poor or very poor physical condition.

Majority of specialized transit for persons with disabilities reported in good or very good condition

  • Almost two-thirds (63.2%) of specialized transit were reported to be in good or very good physical condition in 2016, led by Quebec (91.8%).
  • The majority (85.3%) of specialized transit were purchased after 2009

Over two-thirds of roads and rail tracks dedicated to public transit were built before 2000

  • Over one-quarter (27.3%) of rail tracks and more than half (54.8%) of roads dedicated to public transit were reported to be below good physical condition
  • Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec accounted for just over three-quarters (75.7%) of all park and ride parking lots and nearly all (94.9%) passenger drop-off facilities.

Less than one-quarter of all public transit asset owners have an asset management plan

  • 24.8 percent of owners had an asset management plan for their public transit assets in 2016. Urban municipal owners were more likely (30.1%) than rural municipal owners (12.3%) to have such a plan.
  • Among those without an asset management plan, 33.8% intended to implement a plan within the next four years. 

Consistent with the key findings of the survey, most provincial jurisdictions have outlined requirements for municipalities to implement an asset management plan in order to receive federal gas tax funding.  A typical asset management plan includes a comprehensive state of the infrastructure report, a level of service section, an asset management strategy, and a financial strategy to bridge the infrastructure deficit over the medium and long-term. Contact us here to learn how PSD can assist with the development and implementation of an effective asset management plan and ensure that your municipality can meet provincial requirements to receive funding.

The full release from Statistics Canada can be found here.