Ontario Gives Boost to Municipal Public Transit
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $375.6 million to help 107 municipalities across the province operate and improve local transit. The funding is being delivered through the Gas Tax program and can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how critical public transit is for frontline workers and for Ontarians who depend on these services to get to medical appointments, the grocery store and other important locations,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Gas Tax funding remains a vital source of long-term transit funding that municipalities can rely on to help operate and expand existing public transit services – ensuring people have access to safe and reliable transportation when they need it.”
Funding for the Gas Tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities that support public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial Gas Tax revenue collected.
To make up for reduced gas sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Gas Tax program funding includes one-time additional funding of $120.4 million to ensure municipalities can continue to support their transit systems.
“The government’s ongoing responsiveness to public transit’s needs during the pandemic has allowed transit to keep running,” said Kelly Paleczny, Chair of the Ontario Public Transit Association. “Whether transit systems have suffered lower revenue due to lower gas sales or fewer riders, Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney have, since the pandemic’s early days, helped keep service levels high for the more than one million Ontarians who rely on transit every day. The Gas Tax announcement is the latest evidence of their support and we thank them.”
- The 107 municipalities receiving funding through the Gas Tax program deliver public transit service to 142 communities representing more than 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
- The provincial and federal governments are providing up to $2.15 billion to support municipal transit systems across the province in response to COVID-19 through the Safe Restart Agreement.
- Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across the province. The province has released draft regional transportation plans for Northern Ontario and southwestern Ontario, and planning is underway for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and eastern Ontario.