Statement on St. Catharines City Council’s support for regionalized transit in Niagara
Dec. 8, 2020 – Tonight was a great night for the City St. Catharines and our Council, as we made a historic decision to pledge our support to one single, integrated transit commission to serve all of Niagara. Thank you to the St. Catharines Councillors who supported this progressive decision to enhance transit across our community, and across Niagara Region, and thank you to the community who has voiced its support. Finally, a special thanks to Coun. Mat Siscoe for helping steer this as chair of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, and Coun. Greg Miller as a committee member.
It’s clear from those we heard from tonight, and at Regional Council on Nov. 25, that a regionalized transit service will contribute to the social and economic prosperity of Niagara in many ways. The message has come from a diverse representation in our community: businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, health and social services, environmental advocates and more.
Tonight’s decision is an important signal that we take climate change mitigation seriously. Environmental sustainability is a core pillar of our strategic plan and this is one further step we can take to help reduce the rate of climate change. By creating a more efficient system, we can encourage more Niagara residents to utilize transit, helping reduce our carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions. We must also support future moves to a zero-emission fleet.
Following support at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie councils, tonight’s decision builds upon the momentum for this initiative, which will lead to new efficiencies, improved connections and deliver enhanced and expanded service to Niagara. While tonight’s decision marked an important step in the process, the work isn’t over yet. I hope the community will continue to help us move this forward and amplify the message to the various local Councils so they hear loud and clear – the time is now for consolidated transit. Visit www.movingtransitforward.ca to learn how to share your voice.
This initiative has been studied and debated for countless hours. It’s long overdue. Whether it’s creating better access to jobs and services; providing students convenient access to educational institutions; driving tourism by connecting people across our region and beyond to all Niagara has to offer; or supporting connectivity of GO Transit service, the benefits – and support – are there. Let’s modernize and create a transit system to serve all of Niagara for decades to come.