ONTARIO GIVES BOOST TO PUBLIC TRANSIT IN WATERLOO REGION
Province tops up Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced gas sales during COVID-19
WATERLOO REGION – The Ontario government is providing $11,824,691 to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services in Waterloo Region. The funding is part of the province’s Gas Tax program which will allocate $375.6 million this year to 107 municipalities that deliver public transit.
“Our government knows that public transit supports people and jobs and is vital in providing opportunities for the residents of Waterloo Region,” said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. “That is why we are topping up this year’s Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced sales at the pump. We want to ensure that public transit remains accessible to all the people that make use of it to get to work, school, and for running important errands or visiting with their loved ones.”
“Our government knows that supporting public transit systems is more important than ever as communities struggle to maintain service levels during COVID-19,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler. “That is why we have topped up this year’s Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced sales at the pump.”
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, which can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
To make up for reduced gas sales due to COVID-19, this year’s Gas Tax funding includes one-time additional funding of $120.4 million to ensure municipalities can support their transit systems.
“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.”
- The 107 municipalities receiving funding through the Gas Tax program deliver public transit service to 142 communities representing more than 92 percent 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.