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Niagara Transit Commission

Moving Transit Forward

Regional Council approved the Niagara Transit Commission and its board members

Media release

Niagara Region is forming the Niagara Transit Commission. The commission will integrate the existing local transit systems into a single organization that operates public transit across Niagara.

  • Until Dec. 31, 2022 - Local municipalities and the Region will operate existing local and regional transit systems
  • Starting Jan. 1, 2023 - The commission will take over operations of transit routes and services, and assess the need for any changes

Benefits of a single transit commission

A fully consolidated transit model in Niagara will:

  • Deliver more and better service, and provide easier connections between towns and cities
  • Create better access to jobs and services by opening up new job opportunities for residents in neighbouring municipalities and new markets for businesses
  • Protect our natural environment by providing residents with more sustainable and environmentally friendly public transit options, and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Support the integration and connectivity of expanded GO Train service to Niagara
  • Prepare Niagara for the future by making sure our transit options can scale up to meet the needs of our growing population and job market

What's next

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 address some of the immediate problems that come from having a variety of different transit services
  • Year three: Evaluate specialized transit services in Niagara, like NRT OnDemand, Niagara Specialized Transit, and other local operators, and explore how to integrate those services into the wider system
  • Years four, five and beyond: Examine data gathered from the first few years of operation as a consolidated service; make adjustments to enhance service for each of Niagara's 12 municipalities

Contact

Matt Robinson
Director, GO Implementation Office
905-980-6000 ext. 3198
Email Matt Robinson

Transit in Niagara

Niagara Region Transit is an inter-municipal bus service between Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

NRT OnDemand is a rideshare service operating in Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and West Lincoln.

Niagara Specialized Transit is an inter-municipal, door-to-door service for those unable to use regular transit due to cognitive or physical limitations.

St. Catharines Transit operates in St. Catharines and Thorold with bus and Paratransit services.

Niagara Falls Transit operates in Niagara Falls with bus, TransCab and Chair-A-Van services.

Welland Transit operates in Welland with bus, on demand and WellTrans services.

Fort Erie Transit operates in Fort Erie with on demand and Fort Erie Specialized Transit services.

Commission Board

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

The current Board's term extends to Jan. 31, 2023.

Board members

  • Mayor Wayne Redekop (Fort Erie)
  • Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich (Grimsby)
  • Town Councillor JD Pachereva (Lincoln)
  • City Councillor Chris Dabrowski (Niagara Falls)
  • Regional Councillor Barbara Greenwood (Niagara Falls)
  • Town Councillor Norm Arsenault (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
  • Town Councillor Wayne Olson (Pelham)
  • City Councillor Angie Desmarais (Port Colborne)
  • City Councillor Greg Miller (St. Catharines)
  • Regional Councillor Mat Siscoe (St. Catharines)
  • Mayor Walter Sendzik (St. Catharines)
  • Regional Councillor Tim Whalen (Thorold)
  • Town Councillor Donna Cridland (Wainfleet)
  • City Councillor Leo Van Vliet (Welland)
  • Town Councillor William Reilly (West Lincoln)

Background

The creation of one transit system was identified in Niagara Region’s Strategic Plan. From there, the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, with representation from Niagara Region and the 12 local municipalities, investigated the best approach. The committee recommended creating a commission.

At its Nov. 25, 2021 meeting, Niagara Regional Council voted in favour of combining Niagara's existing services into one integrated transit commission serving all Niagara. Staff made presentations at all 12 local area municipal councils and secured the required triple-majority support to move forward with a consolidated transit 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.

A triple majority was needed to merge transit systems into a regional service with the recommended model of a single commission.

The triple majority process finished on Feb. 23, 2022, which officially gave Niagara Region responsibility for transit throughout the region.

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