MPP David Piccini is Boosting Public Transit Funding for MunicipalitiesPublished on February 15, 2019
CAMPBELLFORD, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is helping municipalities across the province expand or improve their public transit systems and transportation services.
MPP David Piccini for Northumberland – Peterborough South was at the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce in Campbellford to announce that Northumberland will receive $ 979,946.00 of support from the provincial government through the Community Transportation Grant Program and the Gas Tax Program.
“This investment will improve the quality of life for many people in our communities that are currently underserved by transit,” said MPP David Piccini. “Whether it’s seniors, students or others, access to transit helps people get where they need to be to live active, independent lives.”
This year, the province is providing $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities providing public transit service to 144 communities across Ontario. These communities represent over 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
The Government of Ontario is also supporting 45 different projects in 40 communities with $30 million over five years to support local transit and intercommunity bus service in areas with little or no public transit through the Community Transportation Grant Program.
These programs will make it more convenient for Ontarians, including seniors, students, youths and persons with disabilities to access essential services in their communities, connect with other transportation services, and travel between cities and towns.
“We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and attract more riders,” said Kinga Surma, Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministry of Transportation. “These investments in Rural Ontario are vital to the personal wellbeing of individuals and the economic wellbeing of the broader community.”
“Dependable transit options for people living in rural communities is vital for ensuring inclusion. With the Rural Transportation Service, Community Care Northumberland offers an affordable, coordinated, and connected transportation solution for our community,” said John Logel, Warden, Northumberland County. “In so doing, it reinforces linkages between our municipalities, strengthening the economic, public health, and social fabric of Northumberland County. We thank the province for investing in the ongoing sustainability of this important community service.”
“Community Care Northumberland has worked closely with local municipalities and Northumberland County for many years delivering community transportation. This funding will support the current capacity and provide additional opportunities for residents to access transportation especially in rural areas,” said Trish Baird, Executive Director, Community Care Northumberland. “Our community transportation service called ‘Connecting Northumberland’ has provided 1,611 county residents with trips related to healthcare, work, school, appointments, shopping and social outings.”
- Through Ontario’s Community Transportation Grant Program, Northumberland received $497,200 in funding for their project.
- Through Ontario’s Gas Tax Program, the following communities received funding:
- Cobourg received $203,915
- Cramahe with Alnwick/Haldimand and Hamilton Township received $36,299
- Port Hope received $164,955
- Trent Hills received $77,577
- Funding for Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province. The program provides municipalities with two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues. Municipalities receiving gas tax funding must use these funds towards their public transit capital and/or operating expenditures, at their own discretion, including upgrading transit infrastructure, increasing accessibility, purchasing transit vehicles, adding more routes and extending hours of service.
- The share that each municipality receives under Ontario’s gas tax program is based on a formula of 70 percent ridership and 30 percent population. These funds serve both the needs of large and small municipal transit systems.
- Municipalities that contribute financially to public transit services are eligible for funding. Municipalities not currently providing transit can become eligible for funding if they start up fully-accessible transit services.
- Up to $30 million in grants over five years will be awarded to municipalities to partner with community organizations, health agencies, transit agencies, school-bus and private transportation operators, to coordinate local transportation services and/or run intercommunity routes.
- The new Community Transportation Grant Program builds on a successful pilot program that provided nearly $3 million in funding for 22 municipalities since 2015.
- In the first year of the pilot program, more than 28,000 people used the new services to make more than 105,000 trips.