Regional Council's strategic priorities for 2015-18 are founded on a two-pronged approach which includes implementing transformative changes to the way the Region does business and fostering an environment for economic prosperity. The latter is based on four pillars which focus on:
Within the moving people and goods pillar there are a number of strategic priorities, which include the expansion of GO rail to Niagara, the development of a mobility hub strategy, the preparation of a regional transportation master plan, the development of an inter-municipal transit solution and obtaining Provincial commitment to the Niagara-GTA corridor.
In order to develop a balanced and sustainable transportation system which considers the mobility needs of all stakeholders (walking, cycling, marine, air, commercial vehicles, rail, transit and auto) a comprehensive Regional Transportation Master Plan which will take a holistic view on moving people and goods is required. This document will serve as a "blue print" for the next 25 years and will be a living document which requires regular monitoring and updates.
Currently there are two sub-committees of the Public Works Committee (PWC) that provide input on transportation related matters. The first is the Region Niagara Bicycling Committee whose mandate is to be an advisory arm of Regional Council through the PWC to provide input on cycling issues, projects, policies and programs that promote safe bicycling for all ages as a means of sustainable transportation, recreation, and tourism.
The second committee is the Transportation Strategy Steering Committee whose mandate is to develop a region wide multi-modal transportation strategy. This Strategy was developed in 2002 and updated in 2012 at which time it recommended the completion of a Regional Transportation Master Plan.
Both sub-committees have had successes in their respective areas and have delivered on their mandates. Moving forward to support and achieve the new council initiatives there is a need for a revised sub-committee structure which reflects the diversity of the overall transportation system. This will align the expertise currently on these sub-committees and enhance it with the introduction of new individuals with varied expertise and knowledge in other transportation modes. As such, there is a need for a transportation advisory committee that focuses overall on sustainable transportation across all modes.
The Transportation Steering Committee (TSC) is an advisory committee to the PWC for advisement on matters related to transportation policy and planning across disciplines affecting transportation in Niagara. The committee plays an advocacy role in matters related to education and encouragement for improved mobility. Additionally, as required, within this committee there are sub-committees established for specific areas (e.g. active transportation, transit, goods movement, etc.) to resource specific initiatives which allows the overall committee to maintain a broad view of the competing transportation needs.
The core mandate is to provide input to staff and Regional Council through the PWC on policies, programs, and initiatives related to transportation systems planning and development.
The committee shall participate in, or recommend studies and research related to its mandate and areas of focus as outlined in the sections below.
The committee, as directed by Regional Council and in alignment with Regional Council's strategic priorities, shall collaborate with other agencies to develop alternatives and solutions related to transportation planning and policy development to assist in forming advice and recommendations to the PWC.
The committee, as approved by Regional Council, may set-up sub-committees for effective input to issues related to transportation planning and advocacy.
The areas of strategic focus, along with the role of the committee, are outlined below.
|Strategic Transportation Planning||TSC Role|
|Niagara Region Transportation Master Plan||Key stakeholder on issues affecting long-term transportation planning, transportation systems development, cycling and active transportation during the master plan development and implementation|
|Advocacy group supporting the PWC champion the accelerated implementation of the NGTA East corridor by the Province|
|GO Rail expansion||Stakeholder|
|Mobility Hub Strategy||Stakeholder|
|Other strategic transportation initiatives as directed by Council or led by senior staff that require support||Advisement body|
|Strategic Focus||TSC Role|
|Inter-Municipal Transit Pilot and other related request from Local Area Municipalities||Stakeholder and Advisory|
|Strategic Focus||TSC Role|
|Cycling for all ages and abilities as means of transportation, healthy living, recreation and tourism||Advocacy and advisory body.|
|Regional Bikeways Network||Support the implementation of the current Regional Bikeways Network Plan and the future active transportation network (cycling and pedestrian) evolving from the Transportation Master Plan.|
|Cycling for all ages and abilities as means of transportation, healthy living, recreation and tourism||Driver for the development and implementation of a consistent way finding and signage plan for cyclists and complementary transportation modes such as walking, and transit.|
|Cycling for all ages and abilities as means of transportation, healthy living, recreation and tourism||Advocacy and advisory body. Partnerships with communities, local, provincial and bi-national groups as approved by Regional Council.|
Membership for the TSC shall not exceed a maximum of 23 members.
Membership for the TSC shall include:
The membership from the public at large may target but is not limited to the following interest groups/ areas:
The members shall represent the geographic diversity of the Region and broad cross-section of residents, and gender balance. The membership shall be approved by Council and the term is concurrent with Regional Council's elected term of office.
The initial call for membership is made in accordance with Niagara Region's established application process.
All attempts will be made to stay within the guideline composition; however, if the applications received or the qualifications of applicants do not fully address the guideline composition criteria, the most capable and qualified applicants will be recommended for appointment to fulfill the membership composition
The TSC shall convene sub-committees for the purpose of carrying on projects and initiatives while keeping in view the areas of focus and priorities. The sub-committees are considered to be time-limited, project-specific sub-committees of the TSC to accomplish specific deliverables within a defined time period in order to fulfill the mandate of the TSC. The number of sub-committees shall be kept to a maximum of three.
The composition of each sub-committee shall be in accordance with its terms of reference.
Appendix 1 shows the high level reporting relationship of the TSC and its sub-committees.
The TSC will provide guidance to staff in the development of an annual work plan identifying the specific initiatives and activities to be undertaken within each of the areas of focus, inclusive of budget needs, to further guide decision-making and resource management.
A two-year rolling plan will be developed to guide the annual plans.
Niagara Region Public Works Department (Transportation Services Division) is responsible for identifying appropriate funding in its annual budget(s) to support the activities of the TSC and its sub-committees. Subject to budget considerations, additional funding may be assigned for specific studies, projects or events proposed by the TSC for a particular year.
Niagara Region Public Works Department is the designated lead department providing resource support for the TSC; however, the Committee also has access to the technical expertise of staff from other Regional departments as may be required. It is recognized that staff time and the level of participation are dependent on other departmental priorities as determined by senior management and/or Regional Council.
Resource support may also be provided, by invitation, from staff of the Provincial Ministries, in particular the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the Niagara Parks Commission, the local municipal councils and other local agencies, to offer expertise and assistance on matters under consideration by the Committee and/or for information-sharing purposes.
The Committee shall receive administrative support from the Office of the Regional Clerk for meeting and agenda management.
A meeting schedule following a 6-week rotation shall be set for the TSC. The schedule will be circulated to the members for approval each year. Should a time-sensitive matter arise, the TSC may meet at the call of the Chair. The TSC meetings will be held at Regional Headquarters at a time as determined by the members. All meetings are open to the public.
Meetings shall be governed by the Region's Procedural By-law, being a by-law to govern the calling, place and proceedings of the meetings of Council and its Committees, as may be amended from time to time. This includes rules surrounding quorum, selection of Chair and Vice-Chair, conflict of interest, confidentiality, open meetings, and all other matters addressed in the Procedural By-law.
For any items arising from TSC meetings that require Council's approval or endorsement, Regional staff will present a report to the PWC outlining the recommendations of the TSC and the recommendations of staff.
Meeting minutes for TSC shall be included on the PWC meeting agenda for the information of the Committee and Regional Council.
A committee member who is unable to attend a meeting, shall forward his/her regrets to the Office of the Regional Clerk as soon as possible. Should the Office of the Regional Clerk not have confirmation of quorum 24 hours prior to the meeting, the meeting shall be cancelled.
Members who miss three unauthorized consecutive meetings shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee and will be notified of this in writing by the Committee Chair.
The Terms of Reference are reviewed and refined at a minimum of every four years to ensure that they remain current and meaningful.
Proposals to amend the Terms of Reference may require the approval of a majority of the members present. Proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference are submitted to Regional Council for approval through the PWC via a staff report accompanying the recommended Terms of Reference and take effect only upon the approval of Regional Council.