OTTAWA—Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced $9.7 million in new funding for railway crossing improvements at more than 600 railway crossings across the country through its Grade Crossing Improvement Program (GCIP).
Under the GCIP, eligible railway crossings are upgraded based on factors such as traffic volume and accident history. Improvements may include installing flashing lights and bells, installing gate barriers, linking crossing signals to traffic signals, upgrading light bulbs to brighter LED lights, or adding new circuits or timing devices. Transport Canada finances up to 50 per cent of the total eligible costs of grade crossing improvements (to a maximum of $550,000 per project), with the balance provided by the railways and/or road authorities.
Transport Canada also provides funding through its Grade Crossing Closure Program (GCCP) to encourage the closure of certain grade crossings that are under federal jurisdiction. The program provides a $20,000 grant for a public grade crossing and a $5,000 grant for a private grade crossing in exchange for the beneficiary (generally a road authority or private property owner) relinquishing their rights to the crossing and closing it.
The announcement came at the start of Rail Safety Week, which increases awareness of safety around railway operations and highlighting government’s and industry’s commitment to making the rail system safer for Canadians.