Moving People and Goods

moving people and goods icon

Create strong linkages between all modes of transportation for people and goods.

  • People need reliable and effective transportation modes that allow them to easily move from where they live to places such as work, leisure, health care, and education
  • Similarly, the inter-connectedness, along with ease of use and efficiency of various types of transportation is essential for the movement of goods to support businesses to employ, locate, invest, and expand in existing and new markets

Focused Projects

  • Provincial commitment to GO Rail expansion

    Objective

    To plan, prepare and advance all GO expansion advocacy, and develop a comprehensive business case seeking commitment from the Government of Ontario to expand daily GO train service to Niagara with stops in Grimsby, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.

    Impact and Outcomes

    Council established the GO Implementation Office to coordinate, manage, and positively influence their relationship with Metrolinx and local area municipalities and accelerate project timelines. Significant success of this model has been achieved with local municipalities in landing coordinated functional station designs (precursor for detail design), accelerated service plan, ridership studies and project direction with Metrolinx leadership.

    Additionally, significant advocacy and a comprehensive business case has led to the following:

    • Provincial announcement of daily GO rail service to Niagara
    • GO Implementation Office established
    • Three new GO rail stations (Grimsby, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls)
    • Four approved GO station secondary plans
    • Three station access Regional road projects (Casablanca Blvd., St. Paul St. West, Bridge St.) identified and underway

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    The GO Implementation Office will continue utilizing and resourcing the dedicated project model to enable acceleration of the opening day implementation timelines for 2021-2023.

  • Hub and Transit Station Study

    Objective

    To plan for transit-supportive development around Niagara's GO station sites in Grimsby, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, and for the potential future GO station site in Beamsville. Study components for each station area includes: creation of a secondary plan land use policy framework, completion of a transportation analysis and land value market analysis, and identification of infrastructure improvements to accommodate pressures associated with anticipated growth.

    Impact and Outcomes

    Secondary plan recommendations for policy and guidance to achieve:

    • A comprehensive 20-year vision for the lands surrounding each GO station
    • Land use plans which ensure transit-supportive development near GO stations
    • Provisions that protect the character of existing neighbourhoods
    • Identified infrastructure improvements necessary to safely accommodate all modes of transportation accessing GO stations
    • Detailed streetscape and public realm elements which promote universal, barrier-free design
    • Improved connections to and between GO stations, active transportation networks and municipal transit systems

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    Regional staff will continue to work with local area municipalities to review and plan for implementation of zoning by-laws for secondary plans.

  • Niagara Greater Toronto Area East Corridor

    Objective

    The Niagara Greater Toronto Area East Corridor will connect Highway 406 to QEW (Fort Erie) and form a key link in the Niagara-Hamilton Trade Corridor as proposed in the Transportation Master Plan.

    The Niagara Greater Toronto Area East Corridor would provide additional capacity and network redundancy for the movement of goods through Niagara.

    Impact and Outcomes

    The National Trade Corridors Fund, announced by the federal government will:

    • Provide the first important link to improve the efficiency and reliability of trade corridors through Niagara
    • Be part of the longer term Niagara-Hamilton Trade Corridor strategy

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    Niagara Region to continue to advocate for Niagara-Hamilton Trade Corridor with provincial and federal partners.

  • Transportation Master Plan

    Objective

    The Transportation Master Plan will provide Niagara Region with guidance and strategic vision for transportation and its implications over the next 25 years, and plan to:

    • Enhance quality of life through pedestrian and cycling facilities
    • Demand responsive and conventional transit
    • Create an integrated network of roads and highways

    Impact and Outcomes

    The Transportation Master Plan and development charges identified estimated capital costs for a recommended 2041 network road capacity improvements of $494 million and $25.8 million for active transportation infill projects.

    The local area municipalities and members of the public support the Transportation Master Plan process and endorse the following:

    • Incorporate complete streets
    • Wayfinding
    • Active transportation to implement strategic cycling network
    • Flexible transit service
    • Opportunities for higher order transit
    • A long-term road network that facilitates, where possible, all modes of travel
    • Advocate for the advancement of a new trade corridor in Niagara
    • Implementation of the Capital Program

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    The Transportation Master Plan provides an action plan to implement the recommendations identified. Early actions have been identified and are in progress. Additional support by the Region is needed to implement long-term actions.

  • Airport Study and Governance Strategy

    Objective

    To deliver reports to the Transportation Strategy Steering Committee, outlining for each the Niagara District Airport and Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport, the governance and funding options available, financial viability and risks, and recommendations for a potential Regional role in the operation and funding.

    Impact and Outcomes

    The following outcomes have been achieved as a result of the Airport Study for the two phases:

    Phase 1 Highlights

    • Airport Study completed and presented to Transportation Strategy Steering Committee (June 2016)
    • Regional Council adopts recommendations supporting in principle sole responsibility for operations and governance of Niagara District Airport and Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport

    Phase 2 Highlights

    • Airport negotiations consist of implementing Regional Council's motion and are subject to the completion of an environmental site assessment paid for by the current owners / operators
    • Requests for proposals for environmental site assessments are initiated and Phase 2 of the project is completed

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    • Implementation of Regional Council recommendations are ongoing
    • Negotiations with current funding partners at both airports continue
  • Long-term transit strategy for Niagara

    Objective

    To collaborate with the mayors, CAOs and transit managers from St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls, with support from the regional chair and CAO, on strategic recommendations for the improvement of transit services throughout Niagara.

    Impact and Outcomes

    Established permanent Niagara Region-funded inter-municipal transit service. Established Linking Niagara Transit Committee to provide guidance and direction to Inter-municipal Transit Working Group. The working group continues to pursue every opportunity to harmonize, integrate and enhance the transit rider experience including:

    • Standardized on-bus customer service policies deployed across all four large transit systems
    • All Niagara transit systems' routes are available on a single digital mobile platform (Transit App) to find route, schedule and bus information (real-time effective October 1, 2018)
    • Implementation of the Moving Transit Forward campaign aimed at raising public awareness to transit integration activities
    • Consolidated after-hours customer service calls to single provider
    • Harmonized rates and agreements with post-secondary institutions
    • Niagara Region Transit multi-year extension 2018-2020

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    Under the direction of the Linking Niagara Transit Committee, the Inter-municipal Transit Working Group will be focused on advancing a number of key enabling actions including but not limited to:

    • Advancing the financial and asset valuation analysis together with municipal partners related to identified governance options
    • Advancing Provincial Gas Tax program discussions with Ministry of Transportation seeking a solution to keep Niagara transit systems financially whole during any future transition and / or route consolidation
    • Continued implementation of route rationalization
    • Governance options to be presented in 2019

  • Port Robinson Ferry

    Objective

    To support the Port Robinson Ferry service as part of active transportation and to grow cycling tourism in Niagara.

    Impact and Outcomes

    The City of Thorold signed an 11 year lease agreement with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

    The ferry ridership was declining in previous years. In 2017, following the infrastructure upgrades, marketing and promotion (Bridge-it campaign by the Port Robinson Ferry Committee), the ridership has increased significantly.

    The ferry is an important element in growing bicycle tourism in Niagara, particularly for the growth of bicyclists coming from outside of the region using the GO Train.

    Recommendations and Next Steps

    Ongoing support for the Port Robinson Ferry is committed with a 10-year funding plan for ferry operati

    ons.

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