Ontario is providing a combined $1,052,435 in funding to several municipalities in Grey and Bruce Counties through Ontario’s Gas Tax program.
This year, the province is providing a total of $375 million in gas tax funding for 109 municipalities that deliver public transit to 144 communities across Ontario. The province will flow the funding as soon as possible in 2021.
The Town of Hanover (the lead municipality for Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit, which serves Arran-Elderslie, Brockton, Chatsworth, Hanover, Huron-Kinloss, Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, Southgate and West Grey) is receiving $740,828, the Municipality of Meaford will receive $65,797 and the City of Owen Sound is receiving $245,810.
“This is excellent news for our communities with a public transit system,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. “Funding for public transit will help make it easier to get where you need to go while supporting economic recovery in our community.”
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson agreed. “The Gas Tax program is a reliable source of long-term transit funding our local municipalities can count on to help operate and expand existing public transit services,” said Thompson. “Our government is determined to support and improving public transit in our local communities and around the province as we continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”
“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. Municipalities supporting public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenue collected. This funding can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
· 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.