TORONTO -- The Ford government says that it will provide municipalities with an additional $150 million in funding to help public transit systems that are continuing to lose millions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is part of the second phase of the federal Safe Restart program and will be applied to losses that occurred between Oct.1 and the end of this month.

A total of $660 million was set aside to help Ontario’s municipal transit system as part of the first wave of federal Safe Restart funding and the TTC received nearly two-thirds of that - $404 million.

Assuming the same formula is applied, the TTC could expect to receive another $90 million from this disbursement of funds. The Ford government, however, is calling on the federal government to match the funding.

The money will go a long way towards addressing some of the TTC’s fiscal challenges but will not fully cover its pandemic-related losses, which surpassed $740 million in 2020.

The TTC has also said that it expects to lose $725 million in passenger revenue in 2021 as ridership continues to lag.

"We heard from municipalities and we are responding to their need for more support as COVID-19 continues to result in lost revenue and additional costs for transit systems," Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said in a press release. "Transit operators have done an incredible job keeping transit operating during this challenging time, and this support will help ensure there is reliable transportation for people to get to work or pick up essential items."

TTC ridership fell by more than 90 per cent at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring.

It has slowly risen since then but still remains at 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.


The TTC has said that it expects ridership will climb up to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels but won’t fully rebound until 2022 or even 2023.