Terms of Reference - Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee

Project Background

Municipalities across the Niagara Region have identified the importance of public transit to enhance the economic development of the Region.

Since January 2015, an inter-municipal transit group comprised of the Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and staff from Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Welland and the Region of Niagara, in consultation with local area municipalities, have been working together to improve inter-municipal transit services throughout the Region and develop governance options for inter-municipal transit.

In 2016, the working group hired Dillon Consulting to develop potential options for the future delivery of inter-municipal transit services.

The Dillon report (Niagara Transit Service Delivery and Governance Strategy, 2017) was completed in early 2017 and the findings were presented to the Councils represented on the working group: St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Region of Niagara.

The four respective municipal councils recommended that the Dillon report be endorsed and that two groups be created: Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee and the Inter-Municipal Transit Working Group.

Members / Composition

The Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee is a politically-appointed Committee comprised of 10 elected representatives as follows:

  • St. Catharines - 2 representatives
  • Niagara Falls - 2 representatives
  • Welland - representatives
  • Region of Niagara - 4 representatives

The members of this Committee shall be political appointments from the respective municipal Councils. The four representatives from the Region of Niagara are meant to provide representatives on the Committee from those municipalities across the Region which are not parties to the agreement.

The four CAOs from St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, and the Region, in addition to the Director of the GO Implementation Team, as non-voting members of the Committee.

The Director of the GO Implementation Team and one CAO will act as a liaison between the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee and the Inter-Municipal Transit Working Group.

The Committee shall elect a Chair and Vice-Chair annually from its members and may be re-elected to serve for subsequent terms.

The Committee will meet on a monthly basis, and otherwise at the call of the Chair. A meeting schedule will be determined at the beginning of each calendar year.

Agendas/Minutes will be circulated to all members of the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee and the Inter-Municipal Transite Working Group in advance of the meeting.

A quorum shall be the majority of the Committee members and all matters shall be decided by a majority vote of the voting members in attendance each of whom shall have one vote, including the Chair. In the event of a tie vote, the vote shall be deemed to have been denied or defeated.

The Region of Niagara, through the GO Implementation Team, shall provide secretariat support to the Committee.

Roles / Responsibilities of the Committee

The Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee, when making decisions related to inter-municipal transit in Niagara, will be guided by the following set of principles:

  • Customer focused: continuously improve, respect local service
  • Local service levels will not be adversely impacted
  • Fiscal responsibility and affordability with negative impacts on local transit revenues
  • Integrated/seamless source throughout the region and connecting to GO and other modes of transportation
  • Improving economic development opportunities across the region
  • Fair: respect existing investments of communities, collective agreements and respect for taxpayers
  • Unconventional solutions should be investigated and leading edge technologies explored

The Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee shall be responsible for the following:

  • Directing/Overseeing the work of the Inter-Municipal Transit Working Group
  • Approval authority for any recommendations emanating from the Inter-Municipal Transite Working Group that deals exclusively with implementation of inter-municipal transit and recommendations emanating from the Dillon report
  • Coordinating marketing and branding of inter-municipal transit
  • Government relations and advocacy to senior orders of government (provincial/federal) as it relates to inter-municipal transit
  • Act as a unified voice for transit in Niagara

The Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee shall not have any jurisdiction over the local transit routes, funding, capital expenditures, or day-to-day operations. The decisions rest solely with the local Council of each individual municipality:

Recommendations from the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee that require Regional Council approval will be presented to the Regional Public Works Committee and ultimately Regional Council for approval.

Recommendations from the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee that require approval by St. Catharines City Council will be referred to the St. Catharines Transit Commission and ultimately St. Catharines City Council for approval.

Recommendations from the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee that require approval by Niagara Falls City Council will be referred directly to Niagara Falls City Council.

Recommendations from the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee that require approval by Welland City Council will be referred directly from the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee to Welland City Council.

Project Background

Municipalities across the Niagara Region have identified the importance of public transit to enhance the economic development of the Region.

Since January 2015, an inter-municipal transit group comprised of the Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers and staff from Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Welland and the Region of Niagara, in consultation with local area municipalities, have been working together to improve inter-municipal transit services throughout the Region and develop governance options for inter-municipal transit.

In 2016, the working group hired Dillon Consulting to develop potential options for the future delivery of inter-municipal transit services.

The Dillon report (Niagara Transit Service Delivery and Governance Strategy, 2017) was completed in early 2017 and the findings were presented to the Council’s represented on the working group: St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Region of Niagara.

The four respective municipal councils recommended that the Dillon report be endorsed that two groups be created: the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee and the Inter-Municipal Transit Working Group.

Members / Composition

The Inter-Municipal Transit Working Group (hereafter referred to as the Working Group) shall be comprised of one staff representative from each of the following:

  • Fort Erie
  • Grimsby
  • Lincoln
  • Niagara Falls
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Pelham
  • Port Colborne
  • Region of Niagara
  • St. Catharines
  • Thorold
  • Wainfleet
  • Welland
  • West Lincoln

Other technical support staff resources may participate on the Committee as required by the Working Group.

The staff representative from each municipality will be the key contact for the municipality related to the matters of the Working Group and all meeting notices, meeting agenda, minutes etc. will be provided to that contact.

The Region of Niagara will provide staff resources through the GO Implementation Team and serve as the secretariat to the Working Group.

Governance / Reporting Authority

The Working Group reports directly to the Inter-Municipal Transit Steering Committee (Steering Committee). One of the four Steering Committee CAOs and the Region’s Director of the GO Implementation Team shall act as the staff liaisons between the Steering Committee and the Working Group.

Work Plan

The Dillon report has been referred to the Working Group for implementation. The report includes recommendations related to, but not limited to the following:

  • Procurement/Purchasing transit capital needs
  • Development of proposals for fare boxes, technology, policies, customer service structure, service guidelines
  • Route optimization and coordination
  • Coordination with other transit providers (GO transit, Metrolinx, Hamilton Street Railway)
  • Coordination with post-secondary schools and private carriers
  • Liaise with economic development and planning offices
  • Union contracts and standardization of standard operating procedures

The Working Group will be responsible for providing recommendations to the Steering Committee related to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Dillon report or other Inter-Municipal Transit-related matters arising from day to day operational issues.

Minor operational issues resulting from the Dillon report and not requiring financial approvals will be dealt with at the Working Group level.

Governance

The Director of the GO Implementation Team will serve as Chair of the Working Group.

The Working Group is an advisory/technical support group who will make recommendations related to the Dillon report and any other matter that is referred to it by the Steering Committee.

Recommendations from the Working Group will be referred to the Steering Committee for endorsement and, where applicable, referral to the local transit providers for their consideration and approval, except those financial decisions which require local council approval.

Minor operational issues not requiring financial commitments or approvals will be dealt with by the Working Group and not require approval of the Steering Committee.

Recommendations will be developed through a consensus amongst members of the Working Group.


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