Ontario Providing Transit Funding for Sault Ste. Marie Supporting Local Economic Recovery Efforts By Investing in Public Transit

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MP Ross Romano

Sault Ste. Marie – Ontario is providing $1.22 million in funding to Sault Ste. Marie 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.

“An additional $1.22 million in new funding for the City of Sault Ste. Marie is great news for our city and another example of our Government’s commitment to support our local communities through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MPP Ross Romano. “Well-maintained and accessible public transit is crucial for many families and workers in the Sault. This investment will help our City maintain and invest in our public transit system and will in turn support the people in our community who rely on public transit.”

“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.”

“I want to recognize and thank the Government of Ontario for providing the City with support through the Gas Tax program,” said Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie. “Transit is one of the most important services we provide, and financial assistance from our government partners helps ensure the City can continue to support the movement of people throughout Sault Ste. Marie; whether it be to and from work, appointments or essential services.”

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.

“Transit systems again thank this government for its unwavering support. From keeping existing service running safely and conveniently to building transit for tomorrow, Minister Mulroney has been an ally of transit systems and our riders. Ontario has placed immense value on public transit to help frontline workers get to and from work each day throughout the pandemic,” said Kelly Paleczny, Chair of Ontario Public Transit Association and General Manager of the London Transit Commission. “This funding is crucial to communities across the province in the fight against COVID-19 and will play an important role in Ontario’s economic recovery.”

·     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.

 

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