Ontario Government Allocates $379M for Local Transportation Upgrades

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Ontario government

The Ontario government has announced more than $379.5 million to assist 107 municipalities in operating and improving local transportation. The funding comes from a gas tax program and can be used to extend service hours, purchase transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility, or upgrade infrastructure.

“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,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

Funding for the gas tax program is determined by the number of liters of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities that support public transportation in their area receive two cents per liter of provincial gas tax revenue, according to a release.

To compensate for lower gas sales due to the pandemic, the gas tax program this year includes an additional $80 million in one-time funding to bolster local transit systems. 

“We are very thankful for the funding that will help local transit systems continue to operate and provide high levels of service to the more than one million Ontarians who rely on transit every day,” said Kelly Paleczny, Chair of the Ontario Public Transit Association. 

The 2022-2023 gas tax program will support public transit in 144 communities in 107 municipalities across the province, a release said. The provincial and federal governments are also providing up to $2.65 billion through the Safe Restart Agreement to support transit systems in response to COVID-19.

Ontario officials are developing regional plans to build a better transportation system throughout the province. The province has released four draft regional transportation plans for Northern Ontario, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, southwestern Ontario, and eastern Ontario, a release said.