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Ontario Gives Boost to Public Transit in York Region

Province tops up Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced gas sales during COVID-19

The Ontario government is providing $16,995,822 to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services in York Region. The funding is part of the province’s Gas Tax program which will allocate $375.6 million this year to 107 municipalities that deliver public transit. 

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how critical public transit is for frontline workers and for Ontarians who depend on these services to get to medical appointments, the grocery store and other important locations,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and MPP for York – Simcoe. “Gas Tax funding remains a vital source of long-term transit funding that municipalities can rely on to help operate and expand existing public transit services – ensuring people have access to safe and reliable transportation when they need it.”

Funding for the Gas Tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities that support public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial Gas Tax revenue, which can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility, or upgrade infrastructure.

“Our government is committed to helping municipalities improve transit in every corner of the province,” said Billy Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville. “With this funding of close to $17 million to York Region, our government is supporting the expansion of local transit, and ensuring that residents in Markham-Unionville have access to safe and reliable transportation.”

To make up for reduced gas sales due to COVID-19, this year’s Gas Tax funding includes one-time additional funding of $120.4 million to ensure municipalities can support their transit systems.


“Ensuring that people across York Region continue to have access to reliable transportation is a vital part of our government’s work to build strong and healthy communities,” said Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora. “This funding will help expand and improve local public transit so more people, including those in Newmarket and Aurora, can safely get to where they need to go.”

“This is incredible news for Markham-Stouffville. Supporting our public transit systems is more important now than ever before,” said Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville. “This new funding through the Gas Tax Program will contribute to our economic recovery and help provide better transit services to those who need it the most.”

“York Region will receive $16,995,822 from the new Gas Tax program,” said Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill. “The pandemic has significantly impacted our public transportation systems like never before, and we must continue to support them by planning for the future as we begin to emerge from this pandemic.”

“Our government is supporting and improving public transit throughout the Township of King and City of Vaughan through a major investment in York public transit,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. “This funding is crucial to our community and will play an important role in ensuring residents have access to safe and reliable transportation that helps to reduce congestion and protect the environment.” 

“Thousands of individuals, families, and especially frontline workers here in Vaughan-Woodbridge, rely on our public transit system every single day – and this has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Tibollo, MPP, Vaughan-Woodbridge. “Through this Gas Tax funding, our local public transit system will have the necessary resources and support they need to ensure our community has access to safe, reliable and effective transportation, when and where they need it. This builds on our promise to make travel easier and safer for the thousands of people who depend on public transportation in our community, and across the province of Ontario.”

“Thornhill residents often raise concerns that the high taxes they pay at the pump are not being used for the intended purpose,” said Gila Martow, MPP for Thornhill.  “I join them in celebrating this announcement!”

“This is very timely and needed funding for Markham-Thornhill to help alleviate the financial hardship from Covid,” said MPP Logan Kanapathi, MPP for Markham-Thornhill.  “Local, public transportation is relied upon heavily throughout Markham and this Gas Tax Incentive will assist in bringing back the lost revenue and ridership that was decimated during the pandemic.  In particular our aging population rely heavily on public transit and assuring their needs and safety has become more important than ever.”


  • The 107 municipalities receiving funding through the Gas Tax program deliver public transit service to 142 communities representing more than 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
  • The provincial and federal governments are providing up to $2.15 billion to support municipal transit systems across the province in response to COVID-19 through the Safe Restart Agreement.
  • Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across the province. The province has released draft regional transportation plans for Northern Ontario and southwestern Ontario, and planning is underway for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and eastern Ontario.