Transit agencies across Ontario are struggling!
Investments in transit operations are important in ensuring that individuals can get to their jobs. They are also critical to the creation of jobs!
An April 2020 report from the World Resources Institute, found that "spending on public transportation creates 31 percent more jobs per dollar spent than spending on new roads". We need more than just investment in big capital projects - like light rail networks or subway systems - we also need day-to-day operations funding. Operations funding covers critical aspects of our public transit systems like vehicle maintenance, station cleanliness and the hiring of frontline transit staff.
For this reason, I joined MPP Joel Harden and MPP Jeff Burch on February 6th, in calling on the Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister - Ministry of Finance, to provide $250 million in urgent emergency transit operations funding for 2023.
In our letter to the Minister we supported the recommendations of the Canadian Urban Transit Association to provide municipalities and transit agencies with the critical resources they need to operate and deliver this key service.
Without investment in day-to-day operations, transit systems cannot function properly, and agencies might be forced to raise fares or cut services. Raising fares would disproportionally punish low-income communities, and cutting services would significantly harm an individuals' ability to get to work!
The province's support in 2022 was critical to maintaining the operations of transit agencies and subsequently contributed to the economic recovery of Ontario. We hope we can say the same for 2023.
Read our letter to the Minister here: Letter to the Minister