FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020
BAY OF QUINTE – Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced the Province is keeping transit riders and operators safe and reducing the transmission of COVID-19 by providing three local municipalities with $63,964 to cover additional cleaning costs for municipal transit systems in light of the pandemic.
As part of a $15-million investment across Ontario, Belleville will receive $32,876, Quinte West will receive $21,848, and Prince Edward County will receive $9,240. This enhanced municipal transit cleaning funding builds upon recommendations in the recently released safety guidance for public transit agencies and supports safe and reliable public transit that will get people moving, reduce congestion, and drive economic growth.
“Our government’s top priority is keeping people safe as we reopen the province,” said Smith. “This enhanced cleaning will give Bay of Quinte residents confidence that they can continue using public transit safely to access work, shopping, appointments and other priorities. In turn, our businesses will benefit from that confidence.”
Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, said the funding is also a recognition that municipalities have also felt a financial impact from COVID-19.
“We recognize that municipal transit agencies across the province are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Mulroney. “That is why we are providing funding for enhanced cleaning on public transit systems and continuing to work closely with our municipal partners to support safety on public transit.”
Today’s announcement is part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. This $17-billion immediate response provides urgent support to help Ontario’s businesses, workers, seniors, families, students, Indigenous peoples and communities, and vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
The action plan includes $3.3 billion of additional resources for health care, $3.7 billion to support people and jobs, and it makes available $10 billion for people and businesses through interest and penalty relief measures to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.
"COVID-19 has presented many financial challenges for the City of Belleville -- including how to sanitize our buses in order to keep our transit riders and staff safe. Our cleaning costs have more than doubled during this time and no fares have been collected so this service has been a costly one to maintain. These funds are a recognition of the work our transit staff have been doing and we certainly appreciate this financial support."
Mitch Panciuk, Mayor, City of Belleville
“As Prince Edward County gradually reopens, our residents will once again need safe and reliable public transit to get to and from their work and appointments. Our public transit provider, Quinte Access, is taking extra precautions with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, and we welcome the Province of Ontario’s additional support for this additional safety measures.”
Steve Ferguson, Mayor, Prince Edward County
"We are so pleased to be receiving this funding from the Province. Keeping our Quinte Access buses clean has been a top priority for the City of Quinte West during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will allow us to continue offering our public transit users the safest possible experience."
Jim Harrison, Mayor, City of Quinte West
- A Framework for Reopening Our Province – www.ontario.ca/page/framework-reopening-our-province
- Guidance for transit agencies and passengers –www.ontario.ca/page/guidance-public-transit-agencies-and-passengers-response-covid-19