Have Your Voice Heard On The Future Of Transit In Niagara

“Public transit could have a huge impact on Niagara’s social and economic future. As we move forward, it’s important that we keep the public in the know, and keep their voices at the forefront of the discussion”                ~ Mat Siscoe, Chair, Linking Niagara Transit Committee

A Call-Out to All of Us from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region and all 12 local area municipalities are considering moving to a single, consolidated public transit system – a decision that could be made as early as this fall.

The proposed model <http://www.movingtransitforward.ca/>, based on consultation with all municipalities,would bring consistent operating hours and fares, new digital payment technology, and better connections for riders across Niagara.

The Linking Niagara Transit Committee <https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/committees/lntc/default.aspx>, as well as senior staff from Niagara’s municipalities, want to hear what you think of this model, and have launched a brief online survey to get your feedback. The survey, available at MovingTransitForward.ca <http://www.movingtransitforward.ca/>, is open until Oct. 3, and should take about five minutes to complete.

This fall, Niagara Region and all 12 local municipalities will discuss and vote on whether to adopt the model. If both Regional Council as well as a majority of local councils, representing a majority of Niagara’s population, approve the proposal, a Transit Commission Board <https://movingtransitforward.ca/governance/>will be created to implement and govern the new system.

Niagara Region buses make a stop in Welland, file photo by Doug Draper

A three-phase Service Standards Strategy <https://movingtransitforward.ca/service-plan/>would guide the development of the system over the next five years. The system would be funded from Niagara Region’s budget through 12 Regional special levies <https://movingtransitforward.ca/finance/>, to ensure that residents and transit users only pay for the services that they directly receive.

Over the past several months, Regional and municipal staff been engaging in direct conversation with all 12 municipalities as the proposal evolves. The current proposal reflects what has been heard so far, and continues to evolve as those conversations continue.

Consolidating transit holds many potential benefits for Niagara:

  •   * Creates better access to jobs and services in Niagara, opening up new job options for residents in neighbouring municipalities, and new markets for businesses
  • * Protects our natural environment by providing residents with more sustainable and environmentally friendly public transit options, reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions
  •  * Prepares Niagara for the future, by making sure our transit options can scale up to meet the needs of our growing population and job market
  • * Supports the expansion and connectivity of GO Transit service to Niagara

Visit MovingTransitForward.ca <http://www.movingtransitforward.ca/>to learn more  about the proposal, complete the survey, and sign up to receive updates.

Then Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs speaks at the launch of the very first Niagara Regional transit buses in 2011. File photo by Doug Draper

Quotes

“Over the past decade, we’ve heard loud and clear that a consolidated transit system is the way to move forward. This proposal is built on that feedback, and now we want the public’s confirmation that this model will meet the needs of their community. Public transit could have a huge impact on Niagara’s social and economic future. As we move forward, it’s important that we keep the public in the know, and keep their voices at the forefront of the discussion” ~ */Mat Siscoe, Chair, Linking Niagara Transit Committee/*

“A functional, integrated transit system is essential to Niagara’s future economic and social prosperity, and we’ve been working towards creating a truly consolidated system for years. We’ve done our homework and have a workable plan. All our municipalities are committed to working together to give our residents the best system possible” ~ */Mike Kirkopoulos, Town of Lincoln Chief Administrative Officer/*

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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