The Province is doubling the amount paid from the gas tax but it won’t start until after the next provincial election, in 2019.
Thursday at the Huron street Transit garage the Minister of Transportation made the following announcement. “Ontario is boosting support for Sault Ste. Marie by providing reliable, long-term funding to improve and expand local transit and offer more travel options for commuters and families.”
“We’ve heard loud and clear from municipalities that they need more sustainable funding for public transit to keep up with the demand to provide more service. By modernizing Ontario’s gas tax program we are helping municipalities improve their local transit service so people can easily get where they need to be.” said Steven Del Duca Minister of Transportation.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca was joined by Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano today to make the announcement.
“Ontario’s decision to provide more funding for transit through the gas tax program is a welcome one for Sault Ste. Marie. We know the importance of transit to our residents. This funding will help us reach our transit goals and assist in our efforts to build a more convenient system.” said Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie.
The province has heard directly from people who are frustrated by their daily commute and from regions and municipalities that are struggling to meet their transit needs. In response to these concerns, starting in 2019, Ontario will increase funding for Sault Ste. Marie Transit and other municipal transit systems across the province 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 to the program.
Sault Ste. Marie is able to use the new funding 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.
Supporting stronger public transit systems is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
Sault Ste. Marie will receive more than $1.1 million through the 2016-17 gas tax program, and could see its funding increased to an estimated $1.4 million in 2019-20, $1.6 million in 2020-21 and to $2.2 million in 2021-22.
Overall, provincial gas tax 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, $642 million in 2021–22.
Ontario made gas tax program funding permanent in 2013 to provide a stable source for municipal transit investments.
One bus takes up to 40 vehicles off the road, and keeps 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere each year.
Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors.