Public transit systems in Niagara will have an additional $11.2 million to play with over the next five years as part of the Ontario governments plan to double the funding municipalities all across the province get from the gas tax program.
St. Catharines transit provincial funding will double to about $4.8 million dollars by the year 2022 and they say that money will be enough to add three new buses to their flight of 70 each year.
High on the priority list is a new east-west route from the hospital down to the museum that would connect with most north-south bus routes.
They also want to extend bus route hours.
“About half of the routes that we run come of fthe road at 6pm. We would like to make that later to 8 in the evening to accommodate those who don’t get off work until after 6.”
Niagara funding will double to about $2.5 million by 2022. They say that money will help them reach their goal of providing half hour service at every bus stop .
Right now, only 55% of Niagara’s buses run every half hour during peak hours. The rest run every hour.
Municipalities won’t see an increase in funding until 2019. So, don’t expect to see too many changes to your local bus routes for at least two years.