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Province gives Greater Sudbury $2.9M for GOVA Transit

One-time funding earmarked to help with infrastructure needs and to recover from the ridership drop that accompanied the pandemic

GOVA Transit received an almost $3-million boost on Thursday, with the province pledging the funds during a media conference at the city’s transit depot.

The $2,917,835, Ontario Transportation Associate Minister Stan Cho told, isn’t earmarked for anything specific beyond “public transit.”

“We're not in the business of telling governments and agencies how to run. They know their local communities the best,” he said, adding the funds could go toward such efforts as creating new or more frequent routes, or whatever else transit-related the city can dream up.

Coming out of a pandemic in which ridership dropped alongside its associated revenues, he said the funds are also intended to help transit agencies recover.

It’s part of a government investment of more than $379.5 million in gas tax funding “to help 107 municipalities operate and improve local transits.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how critical public transit is for frontline workers and for Ontarians who depend on these services to get to medical appointments, the grocery store and other important locations,” Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said in a media release. 

“Gas tax funding remains a vital source of long-term transit funding that municipalities can rely on to help operate and expand existing public transit services – ensuring people have access to safe and reliable transportation when they need it.”

As with other public transit organizations the world over, GOVA Transit dropped significantly during the pandemic, and halved from pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

In 2019, GOVA Transit provided 4.6 million passenger trips. It fell to 2.8 million trips in 2020,.2.3 million in 2021 and 3.5 million in 2022. 

During this time, the revenue shortfall (fare revenues less than the budgeted amount) was $3.5 million in 2020, $2.8 million in 2021 and $1.7 million in 2022. 

The city has received COVID-related support through the joint provincial/federal Safe Restart Agreement for the Municipal Transit Stream via three phases totalling $6.9 million. The fourth phase, with approximately $408,000, is still to come.

The funding announced on Thursday is on top of this. 

With the newly announced funding, city community development general manager Steve Jacques said they’ve yet to plan out what they’ll do with it. 

“We'll look at investing into the infrastructure around our transit services as well as other capital projects that's important, like rapid transit,” he told

Easing GOVA Transit into an all-electric fleet will be one significant hurdle in the coming several years, aided by a feasibility study currently underway. 

The city’s goal is to transition its entire fleet of 59 diesel buses toward electric by 2035. 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for