Ontario invests over $670K in H–L&A transit

Representatives from Deseronto, Napanee, Belleville, Lennox and Addington, and the Government of Ontario came together to celebrate an investment in the area’s new transit program through Ontario’s Municipal Gas Tax Funding, announced by Ric Bresee, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Hastings—Lennox and Addington on Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024. Submitted photo.

Transit in Hastings–Lennox & Addington has received a funding boost after an Ontario government investment of $677,337 from the 2023-24 Gas Tax program.

According to a release from MPP Ric Bresee’s office, the funding can be used to expand service hours, increase routes, purchase new vehicles, and improve accessibility to increase transit ridership. This announcement comes three months after the Town of Deseronto transitioned the Deseronto Transit Service to a weekday scheduled transit route, serving the Belleville to Greater Napanee corridor.

“This investment is fantastic news for ensuring the sustainability and enhancing transit availability in this region,” said Ric Bresee, MPP for Hastings–Lennox and Addington, in a statement. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, we will continue to invest in local transit to drive economic growth, make travel more convenient and connect people to the things that matter most to them. I also recognize the amazing local organizations that have built and maintain transportation services throughout our small communities.”

The Ontario government is investing almost $380 million across the province to help 102 municipalities improve local transit through the Gas Tax program, according to the release. This year’s Gas Tax program includes a one-time additional $3 million to ensure municipalities can continue to support and grow their transit systems.

“The town of Deseronto is thankful to the province of Ontario for their continued support of our transit program through gas tax allocation,” said Deseronto Mayor Dan Johnston in a statement. “This funding will help us continue to improve on our program, while building valuable relationships with our neighbouring municipalities, and providing much-needed public transportation to our region and our residents.”

Representatives from Deseronto, Napanee, Lennox and Addington, and the Government of Ontario were all thumbs up on the bus following a Gas Tax funding announcement made by MPP Ric Bresee on Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024. Submitted photo.

“We, at the Town of Greater Napanee, are extremely grateful for the investment in transit the Province is making within our Municipality,” added Greater Napanee Mayor Terry Richardson. “Funding through the Gas Tax Program has assisted us to form a partnership with the Town of Deseronto, our neighbouring municipality, and enabled us to provide a functional and viable transportation service which benefits both municipalities. Without the assistance of this funding, it would make it extremely difficult to provide quality public transit within our communities. Public transportation is integral to the health and growth of rural Ontario. Once again, thank you for the investment in our community.”

The breakdown of funding for Hastings – Lennox & Addington was broken out in the release as follows:

  • Town of Deseronto – $193,792
  • Loyalist Township – $198,449
  • Marmora and Lake – $201,730
  • Town of Bancroft – $83,303

“No matter where you live, Ontarians deserve access to fast, reliable and affordable public transit,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation, in the press release from MPP Bresee’s office. “Our government is helping municipalities improve their transit systems now and for decades to come.”

A breakdown of the province’s 2023-2024 Gas Tax Funding by municipality can be found on the Government of Ontario website.

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