Mississauga Set to Receive More Funding for Transit Projects
It's no secret that Mississauga is well on its way to tackling major city-making projects that will boost the municipality's profile and help it adapt to a rapidly-changing landscape where sound infrastructure is more crucial than ever.
Fortunately for the city—and, of course, its residents—some good news has come down from the province.
Starting in 2019, the province is slated to increase funding for Ontario municipalities and their transit systems through an enhancement to the existing gas tax program. The provincial government will double the municipal share from two cents per litre to four cents by 2021.
Although some big annoucements were made today, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about this initiative before, as the province’s plan came to light following the fiasco with John Tory’s proposed Gardiner and DVP tolls.
The enhancement does not mean that residents will be paying more, just that city's will receive a bigger cut.
In terms of hard numbers, Mississauga can now expect approximately $32 million in gas tax funding.
"The municipalities of the 905 together represent over 3.5 million people and I have repeatedly heard from private-sector leaders, who choose to do business in Mississauga, that they want public transit built. Transit policy is economic development policy," said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement.
According to Crombie, council and staff will use funds to "make lasting investments that will help break gridlock, build transit and move people and our economy forward."
As far as increases go, Mississauga could see its funding reach an estimated $20 million in 2019/20, $24 million in 2020/21 and $32 million in 2021/22.
"In 2016-17, Mississauga received $16.6 million from Provincial Gas Tax funding. These funds were used to enhance and grow our MiWay transit system including the completion of the Transitway. We continue to foster partnerships, seek innovative solutions and welcome assistance from senior levels of government," said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer.
Crombie added that today's funding announcement follows a long list of other transit and region-building initiatives happening in Mississauga because of provincial investment.
Such projects include full funding for the Hurontario Light Rail Transit, upgrades to the Square One Bus Terminal (the second busiest bus station in the GO Transit system after Toronto's Union Station), increased GO Train service between Milton and Toronto (stopping at all Mississauga stations on the GO Milton Line), the addition of over 250 parking spaces at the Streetsville GO Station and 130 new parking spaces at the Square One Bus Terminal.
"These initiatives are making a positive and lasting difference in the lives of workers, students, residents and visitors, who rely on accessible and affordable public transit," Crombie said. "Mississauga remains committed to working with our partners in the provincial government to secure new and ongoing investments that will allow us to fund the quality services that residents value and rely on every day, including an extensive and reliable public-transit network."
This year, Ontario committed $334.5 million in gas tax funding to 99 municipalities. This amount is expected to increase to about $401.3 million in 2019-20, $481.5 million in 2020-21, $642 million in 2021-22.