Province gives Transpo $37M in gas tax dough

OC Transpo is receiving $36.6 million in gas tax funding from the province this year — Ottawa’s slice of the $324 million pie.

The announcement was made by Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, alongside transportation minister Glen Murray at the transit garage on Industrial Ave. Monday.

“What’s important to families is, it’s reducing air pollution in Ottawa by getting more people out of their cars and onto public transit. It is making a real difference,” said Naqvi.

Last year the city received $36 million; $19.3 million was used to cover transit operating costs, said Mayor Jim Watson.

Gas tax revenue is based on population and ridership and it’s not just beneficial for big cities, said Murray.

Funding began in 2004, and recently became a permanent program, as outlined in the 2013 provincial budget

In nine years, nearly $296 million has been given to Ottawa.

“It really indicates that our government is committed to supporting public transit in our community,” said Naqvi.

The event was held in the Ottawa South riding, where an Aug. 1 byelection is being held following former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s resignation.

“We’re happy to hear the government talking about transit. This particular announcement was first made in 2004, and it really is just a rehashing, repackaging of an old announcement,” said NDP candidate Bronwyn Funiciello.

Naqvi dismissed the criticism.

“That was something that was outlined very explicitly in the 2013 budget which NDP supported and voted for,” he said.


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