Ontario gives boost to public transit systems in Bay of Quinte municipalities

BAY OF QUINTE – The Ontario government is providing $1,491,266 to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services in local communities, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today.

In 2022, the City of Belleville will receive $842,922, the City of Quinte West will receive $532,608, and Prince Edward County will receive $115,736.

“Our government know that supporting public transit systems is more important than ever as communities struggle to maintain service levels during COVID-19. That is why we have topped up this year’s Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced sales at the pump,” said Smith. “This money will help Bay of Quinte municipalities to expand and upgrade transit infrastructure that offer a reliable connection to social engagement, services and employment.”

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.  Municipalities that support public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial Gas Tax revenue, for use 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 allocations include 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.”

QUOTES

“This is great news from the provincial government about this year's gas tax allocation! Provincial Gas Tax funds are used to supplement taxpayer support of existing public transportation including fleet renewal, accessible stops, accessible shelters and making our system more efficient and cost effective. We appreciate the hard work of MPPs Kramp and Smith to get us this funding."

Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville

"This funding allows us to move forward with critical infrastructure upgrades that will improve the daily lives of our residents. We're grateful to the province for its ongoing support of projects that benefit the people living in Quinte West."

                                                                                                                        Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West

"Ongoing support through the provincial Gas Tax program is critical to serve residents who require accessible transit. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, additional one-time funding from the provincial will ensure that persons with disabilities and seniors in our community can continue to get where they need to go using sustainable and cost-effective specialized public transit."

Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County

 

QUICK FACTS

  • 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.