More funding needed for rural transit: NDP

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QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Transit critic for the Official Opposition Jessica Bell said the Ford government’s temporary continuation of the existing Ontario Community Grant Transportation Program is welcome, but that rural and Northern Ontarians deserve better than the status quo after years of being let down.

“Rural and Northern Ontario desperately need more affordable public transit service within and between communities, especially since the Greyhound has left northwestern Ontario to focus solely on the most profitable routes,” said Bell. “There are many Ontarians, especially seniors and students, who need public transit to get to jobs, see the doctor, or stay connected with their family and loved ones. These communities deserve better than the system in place today.”

Bell said the Ontario Community Grant Transportation Program should be made permanent, support intercity transit service and be beefed up. Bell stressed that it’s the province, not individual municipalities, that need to take responsibility for intercity passenger service.

“Rural and Northern Ontario need the province to work with public agencies like GO Transit and the ONTC to deliver properly-funded, integrated, convenient and affordable intercity passenger service. The status quo is not good enough.”

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