The Ontario government is providing more money to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services in Ottawa. The funding is part of the province’s gas tax program which will allocate more than $379.5 million to help 107 municipalities operate and improve local transit. The funding for Ottawa is $37,804,511.
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 collected.
To make up for reduced gas sales due to ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gas tax program includes supplemental funding of $80 million to help ensure municipalities can continue to support their transit systems.
“Public transit is a key driver of economic growth in Ontario, helping people get to where they need to go, whether it is to work, school, or run errands,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “As more people return to public transit, our government is providing municipalities with the funding they need to accommodate growing ridership, while ensuring they can continue to deliver safe and reliable transit service for people in their communities.”
Gas tax funding can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade local infrastructure.
“Our government is supporting the City of Ottawa with nearly $38 million of funding to improve bus transit by adding more routes or extending services,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton. “Given the tremendous growth in the west end of our City, I will be connecting with our local city councillors to draw their attention to this significant financial support and to ask that they do what they can to improve bus transit services to Kanata residents and businesses.”
For Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, transit is a big issue. Her riding borders Barrhaven and includes Riverside South, a community built on the blueprint of public transit.
“Many of our suburban and rural residents in Ottawa are returning to their workplaces in person after nearly three years of working from home,” MPP Ghamari said. “This investment in public transit made by our government will help ensure that workers, students and all residents have access to an improved system serving all parts of Ottawa.”
The 2022-23 gas tax program will support public transit in 144 communities in 107 municipalities across the province, representing more than 92 per cent of all Ontarians.
The provincial and federal governments are providing up to $2.65 billion through the Safe Restart Agreement to support municipal transit systems in response to COVID-19.
Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across the province. The province has released four draft regional transportation plans for Northern Ontario, southwestern Ontario, the Greater Golden Horseshoe and eastern Ontario.