Provincial money trickling down to municipalities
Ottawa will put the bulk of its 2008 gas tax dollars into improving the city’s transit services.
Provincial gas tax funding is flowing to municipalities — $314-million worth — and Ottawa’s share is almost $36 million. The city will put towards improving and expanding local transit, said director of transit services, Alain Mercier.
Although Mercier said the sum was in accordance with what Ottawa receives every year, he said the money was important because it will help “avoids service cuts to the existing bus systems,” he said.
Some transit improvements the city has planned, which money from the gas tax will help to fund, are:
- $16.1 million to meet transit demands, including growth on mainline routes 94, 95, 96, 97 and 84 buses along the Transitway;
- $12.8 million to replace the OC Transpo’s radio system;
- $12.1 million to purchase buses to relieve congestion in the west, east and south ends of the city;
- and money for a new Strandherd station in Barrhaven, to acquiring property for future development.
The funding, previously announced, “relieves pressure on other areas of the budget for transportation,” said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty yesterday in Ottawa.
President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association Michael Roschlau said the provincial gas tax program enables municipalities to make the sorts of improvements that encourage more transit ridership and reduces traffic congestion.