Niagara GO Hub and Transit Stations Study

In June 2016, the Province formally announced the extension of GO train service to Niagara with stops in Grimsby by 2021, and St. Catharines and Niagara Falls by 2023.

A map representing the three confirmed GO station areas in Niagara. Confirmed stations are located in Grimsby (west of Casablanca Boulevard and south of South Servic
e Road), St. Catharines (at the existing VIA station off of St. Paul Street West), and Niagara Falls (at the existing VIA station on Bridge Street). A fourth recommended future station area is shown in Beamsville (west of Ontario Street, north of the rail lines).

Initiated in 2015, the Niagara GO Hub and Transit Stations Study is building upon the completed 2011 Niagara Rail Expansions Environmental Study Review that had identified opportunities for GO Hub and Transit Station areas in Niagara.

The intent of the study is to ensure that both short and long-term growth expectations around the areas is appropriately planned, accommodated and managed.

Study / Secondary Plan and Transit Station Areas

The anticipated growth that will occur around each of the stations is being planned and accommodated through two delineated boundaries:

  • Study / Secondary Plan Area
  • Transit Station Area Boundary

These boundaries were identified and determined through an in-depth analysis of findings as described within the Phase 1 Study Context and Site Review.

  • Study / Secondary Plan Areas

    Study / secondary plan areas contain lands anticipated to be influenced by growth pressure stimulated from the introduction of the GO hub and transit station. These lands need a careful and well-thought vision and planning framework for both short- and long-term needs.

    Visions for the following elements will be addressed for lands within the secondary plan boundary:

    • Land use
    • Good urban design and public realm improvements
    • Transportation (walking, cycling, and road infrastructure)
    • Municipal infrastructure improvements
  • Transit Station Areas

    Transit station areas are where the transit station and its facilities, including parking and operations, will be constructed. The GO trains will arrive and leave from this location.

    Locations for each transit station serve a critical function in the regional transportation system as the origin, destination, or transfer point for a significant portion of trips.

    The transit station area boundary is most influenced by access to rapid transit services with high levels of pedestrian activity. The area also need to balance many modes of access to the station.

    The property should have enhanced traveller amenities, including:

    • Pedestrian pathways and connections
    • Shared commuter parking
    • Retail opportunities
  • Phase 1: Study Context and Site Review

    Interim Study Report - September 2016

    The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of key findings from Phase 1 which focused on:

    • Data collection and review
    • An examination of the 2011 Environmental Study Report findings to confirm station locations
    • Identification of the preliminary study area boundaries for each station area
    • Commencement of the consultation program with the establishment of the Technical Advisory Committees and Stakeholder Advisory Committees for each municipality

Study Status and Next Steps

Niagara Region concluded its Hub and Transit Stations Study in August 2018. The four GO Transit Station Secondary Plans created as part of the study are a significant achievement for us and our local municipal partners as Niagara prepares for the arrival of daily GO Train service.

Niagara's GO Transit Station Secondary Plans

View Secondary Plans, including relevant background information.

Best Practices for GO Hub and Transit Station Areas

In September 2011, Metrolinx released a document titled, "Mobility Hub Guidelines for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area". It outlines a best practices framework for successful planning and implementation of GO hubs and transit station areas.

Niagara Region has consulted with and adopted these guidelines throughout the study process to ensure innovative and leading edge practices are used at the future GO hub and transit station areas.

The guidelines highlight station area planning objectives that are summarized into three categories.

  • Objective 1: Seamless Mobility

    Seamless mobility will be achieved through addressing the following elements:

    • Connectivity: by providing ease of access between existing services and infrastructure through transfer integration and linking major trip generators and attractors to stations and stops
    • Multimodality: by encouraging and increasing the use and appeal of alternative modes of transportation to reduce the reliance of private automobile
    • Density and Diversity: by supporting and promoting transit-oriented developments that offer increased density, convenient access to transit stations and stops, and provide a mix of land uses
  • Objective 2: Placemaking

    Placemaking will be achieved through addressing the following elements:

    • Attractive Public Realm: by supporting vibrant public spaces that stimulate interaction between people and the environment through drawing upon a communities local identity and sense of place
    • Complete and Livable Communities: by supporting transportation options that are accessible and affordable to all, while promoting economic vitality and minimizing ecological footprint through sustainable and environmentally-friendly design
    • Pedestrian Priority: by designing walkable spaces and connections that improve the safety, convenience, and experience for the pedestrian year-round
  • Objective 3: Successful Implementation
    • Flexible Implementation: by developing policy, incentives, and partnerships that adapt to growth pressures and change, while fostering opportunity for new public and private investment
    • Integrated Technology: by building a system designed with access to up-to-the-minute travel information to enhance user experience and trust

Metrolinx Plans and Guidelines

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