Rural Transit Solutions Fund: Overview

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund seeks to help Canadians living in rural and remote areas get around their communities more easily and connect with nearby communities.  

People living in rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities often depend on private vehicles for transportation and more often than not lack access to transit options. Additionally, people without access to private vehicles or who are unable to drive are left isolated from essential services or are unable to travel with ease among their communities or nearby communities

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund  is the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural communities. It is making $250 million in federal funding available over 5 years, beginning in 2021, to support the development of locally-driven and transit solutions that will help people living in rural communities get to work, school, appointments, and visit loved ones.

From on-demand services, to publicly-owned, ride shares, and volunteer community car-pooling, funding will help rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities and eligible organizations across Canada develop and offer new public transit options to their residents.

Eligible applicants can seek grants of up to $50,000 in support of project planning; up to $3 million to help cover capital costs (e.g. purchase of a vehicle or digital platforms); and up to $5 million to support zero-emission transit solutions (e.g. for the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle(s)).

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund also supports reconciliation by improving the safety of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited individuals who live in rural and remote areas. A minimum of 10% of the total $250 million funding envelope for Rural Transit Solutions Fund will be allocated to Indigenous projects being led by and for Indigenous populations and communities.

Note: It should be noted that discussions are ongoing between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec regarding the implementation of this program in Quebec, in accordance with the Quebec legislative framework.