Provincial Budget Includes $3 Billion in new funding for bilateral agreement
OPTA and CUTA attended the 2018 Provincial Budget lock-up and are able to provide additional details about transit funding and programs:
Under the heading “Building Tomorrow’s Infrastructure Today”, the province is investing $230 Billion over 14 years (starting in 2014-15) for hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges;
Of the $180 Billion over the next 10 years, $79 billion is for public transit. This is up from $56 Billion in the 2017 Budget.
The additional $23 Billion is broken down as follows:
– $11 Billion for High Speed Rail
– $8.3 Billion is the federal portion of the recently-signed bilateral agreement under the Investing in Canada plan
– $7.3 Billion is provincial funding to cost-match the federal funding (40% federal, 33% provincial, 27% municipal); $3 Billion is new funding for the bilateral agreement; $4.3 billion was already budgeted.
The Province is also committed to providing funding, over and above the Investing in Canada plan, to support the construction of priority transit projects. (See pg. 125 of the budget document for details.)
For the 11 transit service providers in the GTHA, this budget announces “…a transformational regional fare integration strategy for the GTHA.” Funding for fare integration in the GTHA will come from carbon allowance proceeds.The province will work with the TTC, York Region Transit, MiWay, Brampton Transit and Durham Transit to introduce discounts to transit users who transfer between municipal transit systems and the TTC. Similarly, GO Transit trips within Toronto, and all GO Transit trips under 10 kms will cost Presto Card users just $3 per trip(see p.126 of the Budget document)
The government made another contribution to the Trillium Trust for “Moving Ontario Forward” which funds previously announced transit projects such as the Ottawa and Hurontario LRT;
The province is investing $170 million toward the London Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system;
The province will begin discussions with the City of Toronto to determine whether provincial ownership of TTC subway lines could provide better transit services
The government will invest $490 million in capital funding over the next 10 years for the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. In 2017–18, the Province provided $5.2 million towards new buses and technology enhancements to expand bus travel options in underserved areas across northern Ontario
In the future, up to $140 million of carbon allowance proceeds will go to build more bike lanes, bike lockers and “First-mile/Last-mile” transit solutions.