Ontario announces municipal transit funding

New funding provides added relief to ensure transit remains a reliable travel option

Press release

The Ontario government is providing $150 million in additional funding to help municipal transit systems address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Kenora–Rainy River, the City of Kenora will be receiving $33,570, the Town of Fort Frances will receive $13,007, the City of Dryden will receive $2,413 and the Municipality of Machin will receive $1,928.

“This is excellent news for the municipalities of Kenora–Rainy River,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River. “Our local community transportation commissions provide critical transportation services for seniors and front-line health care workers. This funding will ensure Northwesterners have access to reliable and safe transportation when and where they need it.”

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. 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.

“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,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “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 to get to work or pick up essential items.”

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 to be met.