Niagara Specialized Transit has made changes to its booking procedures. These changes are the result of the incredible demand the service has experienced in 2018. This demand has far exceeded any previous specialized transit service usage for this service. These changes will not affect the current amount of service available. The number of available daily trips on Niagara Specialized Transit has now been set at a maximum number consistent with our current daily averages. There will be no decrease in levels of service.
While it is positive that there has been considerable usage of Niagara Specialized Transit, this high demand has used the majority of the 2018 budget before the end of the year. In order to maintain service throughout 2018, additional funds will be added to the Niagara Specialized Transit budget. In order to maintain current service levels, much like conventional transit, Niagara Specialized Transit will now have a fixed amount of space available on a daily basis.
Niagara Specialized Transit service has not been cancelled, but any advance bookings beyond two weeks have. Starting in September 2018 trips with Niagara Specialized Transit are now booked on a first come, first serve basis.
With a set number of trips available per day, this procedure was put in place to maintain fairness for all Niagara Specialized Transit riders. Trip requests can be made up to two weeks in advance, but passengers are required to give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to book a trip. Recurring trips outside of a two week period can no longer be accommodated.
Niagara Specialized Transit is a part of the public transit system and does not prioritize one trip purpose over any other. Each request is given equal consideration and is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. This practice complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Passengers looking for other travel options are encouraged to consider Niagara Region Transit (NRT). NRT buses have multiple accessibility features to accommodate a range of needs. These include low floor/kneeling vehicles, wheelchair ramps, both priority and courtesy seating for seniors and riders with accessibility needs, as well as a stop announcement system. A paid Niagara Region Transit fare also permits free transfers onto Niagara Falls Transit, Welland Transit and St. Catharines Transit.
In the fall of 2018 Niagara Region will also be initiating a comprehensive study of accessible transit services in Niagara. Much like the recently completed study into conventional transit services, the accessible transit study will look at existing services available across the region and make recommendations on the future of this service in Niagara. More details on the accessible transit study will be available on the Region’s website when the study begins.
Commissioner of Public Works, Niagara Region
905-980-6000 ext. 3335