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Niagara’s transition to single transit commission shifts into gear with triple majority received

Niagara Region has now completed all 12 local area municipal council presentations and secured the required triple-majority support to move forward to create a consolidated transit Commission.
 
The transition to a single, consolidated public transit system will now begin with the goal of beginning operations in January 2023.
 
To guide this process, Niagara Region has established the Transit Commission Steering Committee to lead the transition through a series of working groups made up of current municipal transit providers and Regional staff. The committee will bring a number of updates to Regional Council in the coming months, including:  
  • The legal establishment of the Commission as a new agency of the Region
  • Formalization of agreements with key partner organizations, including the local municipalities
  • The appointment of elected representatives to the Commission Board
  • The conclusion of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, the group that has guided the integration process to date, as responsibility for transition transfers to the new board
Once the board is in place, the following key milestones will take place starting this summer and continuing until the end of 2022:
  • The hiring of a general manager
  • Appointment of members to the public Advisory Committee
  • The initial branding strategy and name for the new Commission
  • The transfer of transit assets, staff and infrastructure to the new Commission
As the transition occurs through 2022, the existing transit systems will continue to be operated by the local area municipalities and Region. Through 2023, existing routes and services are expected to continue to operate at current service levels as the Commission assumes operational responsibility.
 
This will be in advance of the introduction of new operating hours and fares, new digital payment technology, and better connections for riders across Niagara as outlined in the Niagara Service Standards Strategy.
 
A triple majority was required for the consolidation of transit as regional service with the recommended model of a single commission. A triple majority is a majority of Regional Council voting in favour, and a majority of local councils representing a majority of eligible electors in Niagara voting in favour.

Quotes

"The historical vote to move forward with a single, consolidated transit provider for the entire region will have a profoundly positive impact on all of Niagara for decades to come. This move not only illustrates how well Niagara’s communities can work together in strong partnership, but also how we continue to put our passengers, environment and economy at the forefront of our policy decisions. The creation of this commission will be part of the lasting legacy of this term, and I look forward to seeing this new commission operational early next year."
~ Regional Chair Jim Bradley
"As Chair of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, it is gratifying to see this journey complete with the creation of a new transit commission in Niagara. This proposed system will provide significant customer experience improvements including increased consistency in service hours and transit access across all 12 communities. I would like to extend my thanks to the members of the committee for their ideas to help shape the proposed model, and the staff for their tremendous work."
~ Mat Siscoe, Chair, Linking Niagara Transit Committee and Regional Councillor

Media Inquiries

Norm Miller (media only)
Niagara Region
905-321-4396
norman.miller@niagararegion.ca


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