Ontario topping up transit funds
By Adam FreillInfrastructure
Province adds $80 million to gas tax funding used by municipalities to upgrade public transit infrastructure.
The Ontario government is adding a one-time add-on of $80 million as part of the $379.5 million earmarked to help 107 municipalities operate and improve local transit this year. 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.
The province says this year’s one-time top-up to the gas tax program is to make up for reduced gas sales during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public transit is a key driver of economic growth in Ontario, helping people get to where they need to go, whether it is to work, school, or run errands,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney. “As more people return to public transit, our government is providing municipalities with the funding they need to accommodate growing ridership, while ensuring they can continue to deliver safe and reliable transit service for people in their communities.”
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.
“Once again through the gas tax program the government has demonstrated its support for public transit,” said Kelly Paleczny, Chair of the Ontario Public Transit Association. “We are very thankful for the funding that will help local transit systems continue to operate and provide high levels of service to the more than one million Ontarians who rely on transit every day.”