Province investing additional $150 million in municipal transit, Windsor to receive $6 million
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The City of Windsor will receive $6 million toward transit thanks to additional funding from the Ontario government to address the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on municipal transit systems.
The province announced Monday it would be investing an additional $150 million in city transit services across Ontario. This funding is in addition to the $2 billion previously committed by the provincial and federal government through the Safe Restart Agreement.
"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," Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation, said in a news release. "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."
According to the province, during the peak of the pandemic, transit ridership dropped to 90 per cent of normal levels, in Windsor, ridership dropped 85 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
A social media post from Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens thanked the province for the investment and said it would “go a long way” in helping to implement the city’s ‘More than Transit’ plan which aims to better connect residents to work, school and services.
The province says as part of the Safe Restart Agreement funding, municipalities have to work alongside the province to look into different options to ensure local transit is “safe, sustainable, affordable and integrated, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
Ontario is allowing municipalities to use Safe Restart Agreement funding toward new initiatives to make transit travel more affordable.
The province is also calling on the federal government to match its commitment for another $150 million toward transit services.