Transportation 2030: The Traveller

“The Traveller” is one theme under Transportation 2030, the Government of Canada’s strategic plan for a safe, secure, green, innovative and integrated transportation system.

On this page

Our goal for this theme

To provide travellers with:

  • greater choice
  • better service
  • lower costs
  • enhanced rights

What Canadians told us

In 2016, we consulted Canadians about our transportation system. Here is what they told us about travel:

  • Canadians want lower costs for air travel in Canada
  • Lower costs will provide more opportunities for travel, and make it more attractive to come to Canada
  • Long-term sustainable competition would make room for new air services and improve travel options
  • We need faster processing at border and security checkpoints
  • Because persons with disabilities are being left out of our transportation system, better accessibility would increase overall traffic by allowing more people to travel
  • As competition increases, and air carriers look for ways to reduce prices, Canadians want better consumer protection

Where we go from here

To meet our goals for improving travel, we committed to:

  • Work with industry to create clear and fair consumer protection rules for air travellers
  • Change the rules on international ownership for Canadian air carriers to encourage more competition in the air sector, while ensuring we avoid risks
  • Develop public service standards to limit the amount of time travellers wait in airport security checkpoints
  • Make the transportation system more accessible for persons with disabilities
  • Continue an in-depth assessment of VIA Rail’s high-frequency rail proposal for the Toronto-Quebec City corridor
  • Help eastern ferry operators upgrade their fleets and offer reliable service
  • Make sure our actions support government priorities such as:
    • Canada’s progressive trade and investment plan
    • a federal tourism strategy
    • planned accessibility laws

Budget 2017 support

The budget committed $1.6 billion towards federal transportation services. This includes:

  • $867 million over 3 years for VIA Rail
  • $278 million over 5 years for eastern ferry services
  • $445 million over 3 years for Marine Atlantic

Budget 2018 support

  • $8 million over 3 years for continuing an in-depth assessment of VIA Rail's high-frequency rail proposal in the Corridor
  • Funding for VIA Rail to replace existing coaches and locomotives in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor with 32 new bi-directional trains. These trains will:
    • improve reliability
    • be able to run in two directions
    • improve accessibility of trains
    • help with VIA's continued access to congested stations in Toronto and Montreal

Funding to refurbish the Marine Atlantic Inc.'s aging vessel, the MV Leif Ericson

Our progress

Eastern Canadian ferry services

As of May 5, 2017, we are consulting industry on a long-term approach to ferry services in Eastern Canada. We are seeking input on how:

  • these ferry services can be delivered more effectively and efficiently
  • new long-term ferry contracts could bring economic benefits to Canada

A long-term and reliable approach for Eastern Canada ferry services

Air passenger rights

The Transportation Modernization Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on May 23, 2018. This puts in place a new approach to air passenger rights.

This Act directs the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to create clear and fair rules for air passengers. The CTA will set standards that all airlines in Canada must follow for:

  • compensating passengers denied boarding (due to factors within the airlines’ control)
  • compensating passengers in the case of lost or damaged baggage
  • treatment of passengers in the case of delays and cancellations
  • seating children close to a parent or guardian at no additional cost
  • transporting musical instruments

Along with these efforts on air passenger rights, we are developing regulations to require air service providers, including the airlines, to provide us with data on the air passenger experience. We will make this data available to the public through the Transportation Data and Information Hub of the Canadian Centre on Transportation Data.

We expect these new regulations to be completed and in force by early 2019.

International ownership of Canadian air carriers

The Transportation Modernization Act will change the rules on international ownership of Canadian air carriers.

The new rules allow international investors to own up to 49% of Canadian air carriers. To protect the competitiveness of our air sector, no single international investor (or a combination of international air carriers) is allowed to own more than 25% of a Canadian air carrier’s voting shares.

Higher levels of international investment mean that Canadian air carriers have access to a larger pool of money and can be more competitive.

These provisions have been in force since June 2018.

Air carrier joint ventures

The Transportation Modernization Act set out a new process where air carriers can seek authorization for joint ventures from the Minister of Transport.

Joint ventures are becoming more common in global air transportation. They allow 2 or more air carriers to work together on specific routes. Joint ventures can open up new routes and markets for Canadian travellers, without the need to book tickets on different carriers.

This voluntary process allows the Minister to consider the impacts of competition (as assessed by the Commissioner of Competition) and the public interest when authorizing joint ventures. New regulations stemming from the act also allow Transport Canada to recover costs from air carriers for reviewing these arrangements.

For more information about the application process and fees, refer to the joint venture guidelines.

The new joint venture provisions and cost recovery regulations came into force on April 3, 2019.

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