*Please see below a news release issued by Burlington MPP Jane McKenna.
March 01, 2021
Today, Burlington MPP Jane McKenna and Oakville-North Burlington MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos announced that the Ontario government is providing $1,532,832 to help Burlington address the financial impacts on its transit system from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This funding is in addition to the $2 billion previously committed by Ontario and the federal government through the Safe Restart Agreement to help municipalities continue to deliver critical transit services through the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government. During the peak of the pandemic, ridership dropped up to 90% of normal levels for some of Ontario’s transit systems, which resulted in significant financial impacts for municipalities.
“The additional $1.5 million in funding announced today is great news for transit riders and taxpayers in Burlington. COVID-19 has had significant impacts on our local transit system. This additional funding will help ensure the City of Burlington can continue providing a vital service for everyone who needs it.” — Burlington MPP Jane McKenna
“The Ontario Government is helping to support Burlington Transit during the pandemic with $1.5 million, in addition to the $1.6 million provided last August. Many transit systems in Ontario saw a loss in ridership of up to 90%, and a resulting loss in revenue. We are providing extra funding to ensure that Burlington Transit remains stable and sustainable for the city’s residents and commuters.” — Oakville North-Burlington MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos
The additional $150 million in provincial funding means that there is a total of $650 million in funding still available to municipalities up to December 31, 2021, with extensions to December 2022 granted on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Ontario is calling on the federal government to match the additional funding announced today to help ensure municipal financial needs continue being met.
“We heard from municipalities and we are responding to their need for more support as COVID-19 continues to result in lost revenue and additional costs for transit systems. Transit operators have done an incredible job keeping transit operating during this challenging time, and this support will help ensure there is reliable transportation for people can get to work or pick up essential items.” — the Hon. Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation
As part of the Safe Restart Agreement funding, municipalities need to work with the province to explore options to ensure local transit is safe, sustainable, affordable and integrated, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
To support this work, Ontario is allowing municipalities to use Safe Restart Agreement funding towards new initiatives to make it easier and more affordable to travel between different transit systems, like adding capacity for on-demand microtransit and increasing fare and service integration across the region.
“We are committed to supporting our municipal partners in their mission to build back transit ridership when we come out of this pandemic. We recognize there’s an opportunity now to work with our partners to ensure transit is safe, sustainable and affordable, both during COVID-19 and as we begin to recover.” — Associate Transportation Minister Kinga Surma
- The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is providing up to a total $4 billion in emergency funding to help Ontario’s municipalities deliver critical services.
- The first phase of Safe Restart funding flowed $700 million to municipalities in 2020 and to date $1.5 billion funding has been allocated
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
This funding will allow us to continue to meet the rising demand for transit services in our community and provide more and better service. We’re grateful to the province for this additional infusion of funds to help us meet the immediate challenges of COVID19 revenue loss, while also planning our transit system for the future. I especially want to thank our Burlington MPP Jane McKenna for continuing to advocate for our needs.
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist