St. Catharines City Councillors Move Long-Sought Dream of One Regional Transit System in Niagara a Giant Step Forward

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

“Tonight’s (December 8th) decision (to support one regional transit system for Niagara) is an important signal that we take climate change mitigation seriously. Environmental sustainability is a core pillar of our strategic plan and this is one further step we can take to help reduce the rate of climate change. By creating a more efficient system, we can encourage more Niagara residents to utilize transit, helping reduce our carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions.”  – Walter Sendzik, Mayor of St. Catharines

A News Release from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario — With St. Catharines City Council’s approval, the pursuit of a single transit system serving all of Niagara took one step closer to completion Wednesday night.

This December 8th, St. Catharines Council voted in favour of an integrated regional transit model, continuing years of effort to establish one public transit system to serve all of Niagara’s 12 municipalities.

The vote by Council to consolidate municipal transit systems into one regional entity follows a November vote by Niagara Region Council to begin consolidation efforts.

“This is a major step in bringing years of work to fruition. An integrated transit system will allow all of Niagara’s citizens the opportunity to benefit from the extensive experience of existing transit providers while better connecting our communities and fostering cooperation,” said St. Catharines Chief Administrative Officer David Oakes.

“This  is an opportunity,” Oakes added, “for all of us to work together as one, leveraging our diverse strengths and resources, to improve the lives of residents and drive economic growth.”

To move forward with the proposed plan, a majority of Niagara’s municipal councils, representing a majority of Niagara’s electors, must vote in favour of the plan. All of Niagara’s municipalities will vote on the matter. Earlier this week Fort Erie and Niagara approved the plan.

“Thank you to the councillors who supported this historic and progressive decision to enhance transit across our community and region,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “As we’ve heard from the community, a regionalized transit service will contribute to the social and economic prosperity of Niagara in many ways, while also supporting the fight against climate change by reducing our carbon footprint.”

What follows is a statement from St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik regarding the decision by St. Catharines City Council to support the move to one single, integrated transit commission in Niagara.

The City joins Fort Erie and Niagara Falls in endorsing the initiative, which requires a triple majority approval from Niagara’s lower-tier municipalities.

Statement from St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik on City Council’s support for regionalized transit in Niagara –

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

“Tonight (this December 8th) was a great night for the City St. Catharines and our Council, as we made a historic decision to pledge our support to one single, integrated transit commission to serve all of Niagara.

Thank you to the St. Catharines Councillors who supported this progressive decision to enhance transit across our community, and across Niagara Region, and thank you to the community who has voiced its support. Finally, a special thanks to Coun. Mat Siscoe for helping steer this as chair of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, and Coun. Greg Miller as a committee member.

It’s clear from those we heard from tonight, and at Regional Council on Nov. 25, that a regionalized transit service will contribute to the social and economic prosperity of Niagara in many ways. The message has come from a diverse representation in our community: businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, health and social services, environmental advocates and more.

Tonight’s decision is an important signal that we take climate change mitigation seriously. Environmental sustainability is a core pillar of our strategic plan and this is one further step we can take to help reduce the rate of climate change. By creating a more efficient system, we can encourage more Niagara residents to utilize transit, helping reduce our carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions. We must also support future moves to a zero-emission fleet.

Following support at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie councils, tonight’s decision builds upon the momentum for this initiative, which will lead to new efficiencies, improved connections and deliver enhanced and expanded service to Niagara.

While tonight’s decision marked an important step in the process, the work isn’t over yet. I hope the community will continue to help us move this forward and amplify the message to the various local Councils so they hear loud and clear – the time is now for consolidated transit. Visit www.movingtransitforward.ca<http://www.movingtransitforward.ca> to learn how to share your voice.

This initiative has been studied and debated for countless hours. It’s long overdue.

Whether it’s creating better access to jobs and services; providing students convenient access to educational institutions; driving tourism by connecting people across our region and beyond to all Niagara has to offer; or supporting connectivity of GO Transit service, the benefits – and support – are there.

Let’s modernize and create a transit system to serve all of Niagara for decades to come.

  • St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

You can watch the Council meeting in its entirety at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtbpItdHTAQ.

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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