Ontario is boosting support for nearly 100 cities and towns across the province, providing long-term funding to improve and expand their local transit systems and offer more travel options for commuters and families.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced the new investments at York Region Transit’s Richmond Hill facility.
Starting in 2019, Ontario will be increasing funding for local transit through an enhancement to the existing gas tax program, doubling the municipal share from two cents per litre to four cents by 2021. There will be no increase in the tax that people in Ontario pay on gasoline as a result of the enhancement.
Cities and towns receiving the new funding are able to plan for and make major infrastructure upgrades, buy additional transit vehicles, add more routes, extend hours of service, implement fare strategies and improve accessibility.
For example, the ongoing GO Regional Express Rail project will not be completed and in service before 2024. That is why the province is not supporting plans for municipal road tolls at this time. This new investment, along with Ontario’s $31.5-billion transit and transportation investment across the province, will support more buses in cities like Thunder Bay and Windsor, new LRT lines in Waterloo and Ottawa, and GO Regional Express Rail in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including SmartTrack in Toronto.
- Funding will increase to 2.5 cents per litre in 2019-20, 3 cents in 2020-21 and 4 cents in 2021-22.
- This year the province committed $334.5 million in gas tax funding to 99 municipalities. This amount is expected to increase to about $401.3 million in 2019-20, $481.5 million in 2020-21 and $642 million in 2021-22.
- Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors.