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Niagara Transit Commission Board holds historic first meeting

Yesterday, the Niagara Transit Commission held its inaugural Board meeting; a historic first step in the journey to the launch of one transit system for all of Niagara. The new Commission will assume control of all transit operations in Niagara on Jan. 1, 2023.

Board members selected the first Chair, Walter Sendzik, Regional Councillor and Mayor of St. Catharines, and Grimsby Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich as Vice-Chair.

With the Board now in place, they will guide the formation of the Commission, working alongside the Steering Committee of Niagara Region and local transit staff. The following key milestones will take place starting this summer and continuing through the end of 2022:

  • ​The hiring of a General Manager
  • Development of the new organizational design
  • Develop a strategic workplan and key deliverables for such things as a harmonized fare structure and fare technology
  • The initial branding strategy and name for the new Commission; and
  • The transfer of transit assets, staff, and infrastructure to the new Commission.

Niagara Region and local transit staff are continuing to operate the existing local and Regional transit systems and are collaborating on the plan for the transition of services through 2022. Transit users can expect that existing routes and services will operate at current service levels when the Commission assumes operational responsibility on Jan. 1, 2023.

The Niagara Transit Commission will be responsible for Niagara's specialized, conventional and on-demand transit services, and is governed by a transitional board of 15 elected representatives from across Niagara.

The Service Standards Strategy was developed during the approval process to outline the types of improvements and enhancements the Commission may implement over the next five years:

  • Years one and two: Standardize operating hours across Niagara to create equity, consistency and reliability for riders and address some of the immediate problems that come from having a variety of different transit providers.
  • Year three: Seek to combine specialized and on-demand transit to eliminate previous jurisdictional barriers, unlocking more system capacity, coverage areas and availability for riders.
  • Years four, five and beyond: a full network review to examine data gathered from the first few years of operation as a consolidated service and make adjustments to enhance service across the system.

Quotes

"Today is a historic day for all of Niagara. The creation of one transit system was identified as a top priority in Regional Council’s Strategic Plan. And now, with the inaugural Board meeting and formation of the Niagara Transit Commission, we will finally integrate the existing local transit systems into a single organization that operates public transit across Niagara. This means more jobs, easier connectivity, and better service for every resident across Niagara. Thank you to all the leaders across all 12 municipalities for coming together for the better good of our community to form this new commission."
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair
"I am honoured to be named as the Board Chair of the Niagara Transit Commission. I thank all my Board colleagues for their belief in my leadership. I am ready and excited to lead the Niagara Transit commission in delivering reliable transit service to all of Niagara. The focus for us will be to provide a seamless transition for residents in Niagara that will not impact their everyday commutes. Rather, we want to enhance their overall experience and deliver the best transit experience possible."
~ Walter Sendzik, Niagara Transit Commission Board Chair

Media Inquiries

Janine Tessmer
Niagara Region
905-401-4882
janine.tessmer@niagararegion.ca


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