Kingston will receive $3.2 million as part of the province of Ontario’s Gas Tax program.
Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, made an announcement Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, stating that Ontario is providing $375 million through the Gas Tax program to help 109 municipalities across the province operate and expand public transit. According to a release from the provincial government on the same date, the province will flow the funding as soon as possible in 2021.
“Our government is committed to helping municipalities sustain and improve public transit throughout the province,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Supporting transit systems is more important than ever as municipalities across Ontario struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help ensure people have access to safe, reliable transportation to get to work or pick up essential items like a prescription.”
Funding for the Gas Tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year, the government said in the release. Municipalities supporting public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenue collected, and the government says the funding can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
“Transit systems again thank this government for its unwavering support. From keeping existing service running safely and conveniently to building transit for tomorrow, Minister Mulroney has been an ally of transit systems and our riders. Ontario has placed immense value on public transit to help frontline workers get to and from work each day throughout the pandemic,” said Kelly Paleczny, Chair of Ontario Public Transit Association and General Manager of the London Transit Commission. “This funding is crucial to communities across the province in the fight against COVID-19 and will play an important role in Ontario’s economic recovery.”
Quick Facts provided by the government of Ontario:
- The 109 municipalities receiving funding through the Gas Tax program deliver public transit service to 144 communities representing more than 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
- In July 2020, the province announced up to $2 billion from the provincial and federal governments under the Safe Restart Agreement to support municipal transit systems with operating costs like vehicle maintenance and employee wages, revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other costs like installing driver protection barriers.
- 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.