Niagara Region Transit Service Keeps Moving Forward

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted June 1st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce’s recently released platform for our future includes support for one single, region-wide public transit system. We’re still waiting for it after all these years.

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region has unanimously approved a three year extension of Niagara Regional Transit, after achieving unanimous approval of the agreement by the service operators. 

This action keeps our current inter-municipal  service running while the Region and local area municipalities continue to work on a new integrated transit service for Niagara.

While work continues towards a truly integrated system, we continue to make improvements to the current service focused on the rider experience. Under the direction of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, numerous customer-facing improvements have been achieved since the committee’s work began in 2018:

  • Aligning customer service polices across all four large transit systems effective April 1, 2018
  • Effective March 1, 2018 all Niagara transit systems’ routes are available to riders on a single digital mobile platform – “Transit App” 
  • Consolidating after hours customer service call handling to a single external provider
  • Completing a comprehensive Provincial Gas Tax analysis and engagement with the MTO on route rationalization and impacts to local providers
  • Finalizing Niagara Region Transit agreements with Brock University and Niagara College for summer 2018.

Niagara Region Transit continues to grow with approximately 500,000 rides a year. Niagara Region Transit is funded by Niagara Region and operated by Welland Transit, Niagara Falls Transit and St. Catharines Transit.

The service began in 2010 as a pilot project between Niagara Region the City of Niagara Falls, the City of Welland and the St. Catharines Transit Commission. In 2017 through a unanimous triple majority process, Niagara Region obtained the jurisdiction to operate inter-municipal transit routes on a permanent basis.

A Brief Afterword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Now here we are, almost through another four-year term of Niagara regional council, this term with Al Caslin in the regional chair’s seat, and still Niagara doesn’t have a single, integrated transit system to service the whole region – still the patch work of local transit services that has remained in place since Niagara Region Transit was launched eight years ago.

That now leaves Niagara about two decades behind Waterloo and other regions in Ontario that amalgamated in expanded their transit services well enough to significantly increase transit ridership and draw more funding support from the provincial and federal governments to make the system significantly more affordable and accessible for residents.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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