Public transit in Niagara facing an uphill battle but on the right path
Dozens of people showed up at the St. Catharines VIA station Tuesday night for CKTB's Town Hall Meeting on the future of public transit in the Niagara region.
The panel included all three levels of government as MP for St. Catharines Rick Dykstra, MPP for St. Catharines Jim Bradley, and Chair of the Transportation Strategy Steering Committee Debbie Zimmerman voiced their opinions on the state of public transit in Niagara.
Discussion centred around the deficiencies in Niagara's transit system, ideas on how to fix a broken system, and how to improve the movement of people efficiently inside and outside of Niagara.
The Town Hall meeting also featured a lively debate between MP Rick Dykstra and Chair of the TSSC Debbie Zimmerman who subtly traded opposing views on regional transit and VIA rail expansion.
Dykstra suggested opening up public transit to the private sector, indicating that people generally don't care who provides public transit as long as they get from point A to point B.
Zimmerman stressed the fact that public transit in Niagara is not seamless and that it is one of the greatest challenges along with having too many levels of government.
Bradley says it is important to make a business case to VIA or Go Train in order to get service in Niagara.
People in attendance included Walter Sendzik, CEO at Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Regional Chair Gary Burroughs, Regional Councillors Andy Petrowski, Tim Rigby, and Bruce Timms.
St. Catharines mayor Brian McMullan was the only mayor out of 12 in the region to attend the town hall meeting.