When will this proposed Service Standards Strategy come into full effect?

    If approved, Phase 1 is planned to start and run through Year 1 & 2 of the proposed plan. Phase 2 will occur during Year 3. Phase 3 will cover years 4 & 5.

    What is Phase 1 of the Service Standards Strategy?

    Phase 1 will set standard operating hours across Niagara. Each agency responsible for delivering transit in Niagara today currently sets its own hours of operation, independently balancing ridership and demand against budgetary and resource limitations in their communities.

    The proposed hours of operation for a consolidated system, for all types of service, are: 

    • Monday to Saturday - 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
    • Sunday and Holidays - 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    What is Phase 2 of the Service Standards Strategy?

    Phase 2 will combine specialized and demand-responsive services. Once standard operating hours are achieved, opportunities to enhance services through more efficient delivery will be explored.

    What is Phase 3 of the Service Standards Strategy?

    Phase 3 will involve reviewing the Network Services of the proposed regional transit system. The new transit Commission will also conduct a comprehensive network review every 5-10 years. This review includes a review of the entire network structure and route performance.

    How can I provide feedback about this project?

    You can fill out the survey to provide your input and feedback about the Transit Governance project.

    How can I provide feedback to City Council about this project?

    Those who are looking to provide feedback to City Council can fill out a survey.  Results will be shared with Council following the engagement period.

    Why consolidate transit in Niagara?

    Consolidating transit in Niagara would bring together independently operating local transit systems in Fort Erie, St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara Falls, as well as Niagara Region Transit and NRT OnDemand, in order to offer consistent operating hours and fares, new digital payment technology, and better connections for riders across Niagara.

    What are the benefits of consolidating transit in Niagara?

    A consolidated transit model would contribute to the social and economic prosperity of Niagara in many ways. The proposed model builds in flexibility and a region-wide approach that would allow Niagara to:

    • Create better access to jobs and services in Niagara, opening up new job options 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, reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions

    • 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

    • Support the expansion and connectivity of GO Transit service to the region

    What is the proposed financial strategy?

    The financial strategy recommends transferring all existing and incremental transit spending to the new commission, funded through a series of 12 special tax levies – one for each municipality. Existing local and future costs will be allocated to municipalities on the basis of service hours, ensuring communities are only charged for the services they receive.

    What would happen to the current transit assets?

    Capital assets such as buses are anticipated to be transferred to the new proposed Commission. Leveraging previous capital investments will allow the Commission to deliver increased service into new areas of the region; which would have been costly for smaller municipalities to undertake within their municipalities to undertake within their municipal budgets

    What is the approval process for this proposed plan?

    On Nov. 25, Regional Council voted in favour of consolidating transit systems in Niagara. This approval was the first step in a required triple-majority process (section 189 of the Municipal Act, 2001). All of Niagara’s 12 local municipalities will also vote on the proposal. To move forward, a majority of those councils, representing a majority of Niagara's electors, must vote in favour of the plan.

    What happens if the triple-majority vote is achieved?

    Should triple-majority be achieved, the new Transit Commission will be created and would begin operation on January 1, 2023. In the interim, the existing transit systems would continue to operate and deliver service while the Region will take steps to ensure a smooth transition.

    What were the results of the recent survey?

    Earlier this fall, a public online survey also collected feedback from over 2,200 residents across Niagara. That survey showed strong support for the proposal, with over 79 per cent of respondents approving of the governance structure, financial model and service standards strategy that make up the proposal.