Province tops up Gas Tax funding during COVID-19
The Ontario government is providing $396,000 to municipalities providing public transit across Parry Sound-Muskoka including $154,443 to support public transit in Bracebridge, as well as $95,869 for transit in Huntsville, $89,528 for Muskoka, and $56,543 for services in Parry Sound.
The funding is part of the province’s Gas Tax program which will deliver $375.6 million this year to 107 municipalities that provide public transit to 142 communities and 92% of the population of Ontario.
“Our government knows that supporting public transit is more important than ever as communities struggle to maintain services during COVID-19. This is especially true for smaller communities like those in Parry Sound – Muskoka,” said MPP Norman Miller. “That is why our government has topped up this year’s Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced sales at the pump.”
Funding for the Gas Tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in Ontario in the previous year. Municipalities that provide public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial Gas Tax revenue, which can be used 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 funding includes 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.”
More support for public transit is coming from the provincial and federal governments who are providing up to $2.15 billion to support municipal transit systems across the province in response to COVID-19. Ontario is also developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across t