New funding from the Ontario government will allow 14 Hastings-Lennox and Addington (H-L&A) municipalities to expand and improve their public transit systems.
According to a release from MPP Daryl Kramp’s office, the new 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. H-L&A will receive $1,456,490 of that total.
“Our government knows that supporting public transit systems is more important than ever as communities struggle to maintain service levels during COVID-19,” said H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp. “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, according to the release, which can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
The recipient H-L&A municipal services are Marmora and Lake, Centre Hastings, Madoc, Stirling-Rawdon, and Tweed for $198,433, Loyalist Township for $188,448, Deseronto, Greater Napanee, Hastings County and Tyendinaga for $148,417, Bancroft, Hastings Highlands, and Wollaston for $78,270. Belleville, which receives $842,922, is partly in Hastings-Lennox and Addington and partly in Bay of Quinte riding.
To make up for reduced gas sales due to COVID-19, the release states that 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.”