Ontario Gives Boost to Public Transit in Durham Region
Province tops up Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced gas sales during COVID-19
Pickering, ON – The Ontario government is providing $ 9,369,547 to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services in Durham 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.
“This funding allocated to our region will help ensure residents in Pickering and Uxbridge have access to safe and reliable transportation to get to work or pick up essential items like a prescription or go to a doctor’s appointment. Helping frontline workers get to and from work each day with reliable transportation throughout the pandemic is vital to our community’s recovery from the effects of COVID-19,” said MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy.
“Our Government knows that supporting public transit systems like Durham Region Transit services is more important than ever to ensure that public transit continues to be a reliable and accessible option for Whitby residents.” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby. “We know how critical it is to keep people moving throughout our communities during COVID-19, and that is why we have topped up this year’s Gas Tax funding to ensure Durham residents have access to the safe and reliable public transportation they need, when they need it.”
“Public transit plays a critical role in Durham as the community continues to grow and ridership increases”, said Rod Phillips, Ajax MPP. “The investment of over $9M through the Gas Tax program will help the expansion and improvements to the public transit service here in Ajax and Durham Region.”
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 per cent 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.
Office of Rod Phillips
Office of Peter Bethlenfalvy
MPP, Pickering – Uxbridge
Office of Lorne Coe