“The station and infrastructure improvements we are making will create a generational impact on this area, this community, and the way in which transit options are leveraged for decades to come. I look forward to continuing the Region’s collaboration with our partners.” – Jim Bradley, Regional Chair, Niagara Region
A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government
Posted September 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large
NIAGARA REGION – Niagara Region is playing an active role in the transformation of Niagara’s two iconic train stations to enable enhanced GO service to Niagara.
The Region has acquired the historic train stations at St. Catharines and Niagara Falls,along with the surrounding station lands, as part of a significant redevelopment of the two station sites.
Niagara Region and VIA Rail have been working since 2019 to transfer the St. Catharines andNiagara Falls station to Niagara Region. Niagara Regional council has approved the terms of the station transfer, VIA Rail’s Board of Directors has also approved of the transfer in principle pending approval from Parks Canada for the disposition of a heritage railway station. Upon approval from Parks Canada the two parties are positioned to immediately transfer station ownership.
This implements a critical piece of the Region’s GO Station Development Strategy and when complete, will see new multi-modal bus-meets-train connections at the two heritage station sites, and ensures a firm foundation is set for planned increases of GO train service to Niagara.
The Region committed $40 million as part of its station development strategy back in 2016 to be a catalyst for GO expansion and has been advancing numerous station- enabling projects across the two station sites along with the Cities of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
The significant investment includes updates and expansions to VIA Rail/GO Rail stations in Niagara Falls (4267 Bridge St.) and St. Catharines (5 Great Western St.). These updates include but are not limited to: Niagara Falls
• Acquired the VIA/GO Rail station and surrounding station property
• Planned station building and site improvements including:
o A new multi-modal mobility hub preserving the historic VIA/GO Rail station, while modernizing the interior structure for multiple transit tenants
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o New bus loops with nine bays split between the east and west side of the building, moving the existing transit plaza on Erie Avenue to be adjacent to the station for safer and more efficient movement of people
o Modernized washrooms and customer waiting area, including a dedicated
space for bus operators
• New Victoria Avenue roundabout that connects Victoria Avenue, Thorold StoneRoad (extension) and Bridge Street; thus, improving traffic flow/function in the station area• Bridge Street reconstruction providing active transportation connections;
accommodations for future growth; safe movement of transit; and accommodating increased pedestrian volumes at the station St. Catharines
• Acquired the VIA Rail station and surrounding station property
• Complete reconstruction of the VIA station site including:
o A new multi-modal mobility hub preserving the historic VIA/GO Rail station,
o Establishing new bus connections for Niagara Region Transit (NRT) and
GO Transit; parking enhancements; public plaza space; active
o Constructing a new site access road connecting the station to Ridley Road
in partnership with the City of St. Catharines and Ridley College.
o Anew bus loop with six bays resulting in overall improvements to the property, including appropriate site access and servicing
• Replacement of the one hundred year old CN overpass (St. Paul Street West Bridge) to improve sight lines; providing flatter slopes on the approaches and improved public safety for all modes of transportation (vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians)
• Streetscape improvements on Ridley Road such as sidewalks, on-street parking configuration, boulevards and driving lane configurations
These investments in public transportation have allowed for strategic property acquisitions; station-enabling road network improvements; station infrastructure upgrades and enhanced local transit connections. As a result, Niagara Region will be able to move thousands of riders in and out of these stations successfully each year.
Niagara Region continues to work in collaboration with its local municipal partners in support of bringing all-day, two-way daily GO Train service to Niagara. In addition to these partnerships, the Region is also working closely with partners to ensure that rail and bus connectivity into these stations is seamless, frequent and reliable.
For more information, please visit Niagara Region’s GO Rail Expansion webpage. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
From left to right, St. Catharines City Councillor Karrie Porter, Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Karla Avis-Birch (Chief Planning Officer, Metrolinx), MPP Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff and Mayor Jim Diodati (Niagara Falls).
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