The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey: Public transit assets, 2020

Released: 2022-04-21

A total of 446 public organizations owned public transit assets in Canada in 2020. Larger urban municipalities—those with at least 30,000 residents—owned 80% of public transit rolling stock. Just over half (56%) of these 94 larger urban municipalities had an asset management plan in place in 2020, a slight improvement from levels reported in 2018 (50%).

More hybrid buses than diesel buses purchased in 2019 and 2020

According to the Annual Passenger Bus and Urban Transit Survey, the fuel consumption (diesel, gasoline and other fuels) of urban transit systems decreased by 2.3% from 2018 to 2019 as passenger trips increased. While diesel buses continued to account for the majority (62%) of bus fleets, their share has been decreasing in favour of natural gas, hybrid and electric buses. In fact, more hybrid buses (1,100) were purchased in 2019 and 2020 than diesel buses (921). In British Columbia, diesel buses accounted for less than half of the bus fleets, and 1 in 10 buses was electric, while hybrid and natural gas buses made up 1 in 3.

Condition of rolling stock worsens in 2020 

The overall condition of public transit buses declined in 2020 in Canada. Manitoba was a notable exception, compared with the other provinces and territories, as fewer buses were rated in poor or very poor condition (4% in 2020 compared with 11% in 2018), while the condition of over half of its fleets was reported to be good or very good. The condition of buses in Saskatchewan and British Columbia worsened compared with 2018 as the percentage of buses rated in poor or very poor condition in Saskatchewan increased from 6% to 21%, while that in British Columbia rose from 1% to 13%.

Railcar conditions also deteriorated from 2018 to 2020. More than one-third (35%) of public transit railcars in Quebec and 30% of those in British Columbia were in poor or very poor condition.

  Note to readers

The 2020 cycle of Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey was conducted in partnership with Infrastructure Canada. The data cover topics such as stock, condition, performance and asset management strategies.

The survey results cover nine asset types (public transit; roads; bridges and tunnels; potable water; storm water; wastewater; solid waste; culture, recreation and sports facilities; and public social and affordable housing).

Data are based on responses from approximately 2,260 government organizations. The following organizations are included in the survey:

  • provincial and territorial departments and ministries
  • regional governments
  • urban and rural municipalities
  • selected provincial Crown corporations and public transit authorities.

Ferries include those used for public transit service travel and exclude those that form part of the highway system (whose primary purpose is vehicle transportation), except for Quebec, where ferries that form part of the highway system may be included.

Respondents were provided the following scale when asked to rate the overall physical condition of their assets:

Very poor: There is an immediate need to replace most or all of the asset. Health and safety hazards exist, which present a possible risk to public safety, or the asset cannot be serviced or operated without risk to personnel. Major work or replacement is required urgently.

Poor: Failure is likely, and substantial work is required in the short term. The asset is barely serviceable. There is no immediate risk to health or safety.

Fair: Significant deterioration is evident; minor components or isolated sections of the asset need replacement or repair now, but the asset is still serviceable and functions safely at an adequate level of service.

Good: The asset is in acceptable physical condition; there is a minimal short-term failure risk but potential for deterioration in the long term. Only minor work is required.

Very good: The asset is in sound physical condition. There is no short-term failure risk and no work required.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

For more information about why the survey was conducted and how its results will inform infrastructure policy and program development and investment decisions, contact Infrastructure Canada (toll-free 1-877-250-7154; 613-948-1148; or Infrastructure Canada Media Relations (toll-free 1-877-250-7154; 613-960-9251;

Date modified: