By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
The provincial government will be investing approximately $9 million in Durham Region’s public transit system.
Durham is set to receive $8,866,900 in gas tax funding from the province, an increase of more than $200,000 from 2018.
Durham MPP Lindsay Park announced the province will be providing $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities around Ontario in total. This will provide public transit to 144 communities across the province, which represents over 92 per cent of the province’s population.
“This funding will enable important improvements to Durham transit, giving Durham residents better options when travelling for work or leisure,” Park said. “As we work to open Ontario for business, it is vital that we have the transportation infrastructure to connect Durham Region.”
Municipalities receiving transit funds must use them towards their public transit capital and operating expenditures.
The share each municipality receives under Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by a formula of 70 per cent ridership and 30 per cent population.
Those municipalities that contribute financially towards their public transit services are eligible for funding.
Whitby MPP Lorne Coe, a former Durham regional councillor, said, “The government is sending a very powerful message that residents want efficient public transit and less gridlock.”
Coe says he is very familiar with the region’s strategic transit plan through 2019.
“With the approximately $9 million, we’re helping Durham region to fulfill the cornerstone of that strategic plan,” said Coe.