Plans for New Canadian Train Service Could Provide WNYers New Direct Link to Toronto and Open New Door for Canadian Visitors to Niagara Falls, NY
From the Office of Buffalo area U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins
Posted June 29th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Erie County, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is advocating for a direct binational pedestrian connection to accommodate Canadian GO Train passengers and better facilitate cross-border tourism. Higgins’ push comes following an announcement on June 28th by Ontario’s Transportation Minister of expanded GO Transit service between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The GO Train stop at the Via Rail Station in Niagara Falls, Ontario is in very close proximity, just a three-minute walk, to the Whirlpool Bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada. The Whirlpool Bridge currently does not allow for pedestrian crossings.
In a letter sent by Congressman Higgins to parties overseeing bridge operations, Higgins calls for the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency to begin work now to establish pedestrian access at the Whirlpool Bridge between Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Higgins points out that visitors crossing the Whirlpool Bridge on foot could hop on the new Discover Niagara Shuttle which provides a direct connection to 14 of the top tourist destinations in New York’s Greater Niagara Falls region.
GO Transit is the public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, carrying over 65 million passengers a year. The Ontario government announced plans to install 60 km of new track, build new stations and refurbish several existing stations in order to provide regular daily commuter service to Ontario’s Niagara Region. This June 28th’s announcement by provincial authorities indicated that new construction would be evident next summer, that the first new train service would begin in 2021, and that the new train service would be fully implemented in 2023.
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