Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada will provide $7.1 million in new funding this year to improve railway crossings, ensuring better safety for motorists and pedestrians, through the Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP). In addition, the Economic Action Plan will provide $28 million over the next five years to further enhance crossings.
“Our government takes the issue of rail safety very seriously,” said Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport). “We are committed to further reducing injuries and fatalities at crossings across the country. In collaboration with rail companies and communities, we are improving safety for motorists and pedestrians alike.”
Under the GCIP, eligible railway crossings are upgraded, relocated or closed, based on an assessment of factors such as traffic volume and crash history. Improvements may include installing flashing lights and gates, linking crossing signals to nearby traffic lights, or adding new circuits or timing devices. Transport Canada finances up to 80 per cent of the total cost of the improvements, with the balance provided by the railways, municipalities, or provinces and territories.
There are approximately 55,000 public, private and pedestrian highway-railway crossings in Canada; approximately 50 per cent of vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices, such as gates, lights, and/or bells.