Discussions about transit often end up about funding. To help make these discussions productive, I was pleased to co-author a paper through the Transportation Association of Canada titled Importance of Transportation Funding: Framing the Issues.
Here’s the abstract:
Transportation funding is becoming an important topic of discussion at all levels of Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) councils and committees, reflecting discussions that are taking place throughout the Canadian transportation community. The fundamental needs are to maintain and upgrade the country’s aging transportation system while adding new infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population and economy. These needs are evolving in the face of new challenges, notably changing funding sources and priorities, climate change impacts on infrastructure resiliency, changes to how the system is used, and accommodating new transportation and communications technologies. These challenges have become sharper with the COVID-19 pandemic-induced disruptions in how people and goods move and in shifts in revenues and funding priorities. These needs and challenges cover a broad range. They vary across the country, by mode, ownership, responsibility and more. All told, these complexities mean that the needs and challenges are not fully understood. This briefing describes and categorizes these key challenges and opportunities and provides an initial, high-level assessment of the broader range of potential funding sources, approaches and needs. From this review, the briefing identifies knowledge gaps and potential research directions for consideration by the TAC Transportation Finance Committee and other committees and councils to address these gaps.