The push continues for seamless transit

Brittany Brooks/The Brock Press

Brittany Brooks/The Brock Press

Within the last year, Brock University has done much to improve student transportation, with direct funding going into better route options for buses as well as initiating car-sharing programs. Despite these strides towards improvement, a major transportation issue
still lingers.
Towns within the Niagara region that are outside of the St. Catharines town borders are faced with problems of inaccessibility when travelling into the city. Although there are buses that run between Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, these transit options are infrequent and require multiple transfers from different transit jurisdictions to get from one place to the next. This is why BUSU and Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NSAC) have joined forces to propose the idea of a seamless transit system that will see towns from the surrounding area all functioning under one widespread transit operation.
“When 20 per cent of the Niagara region has no access to public transit, there is a large demographic of potential students who move out of the region because our transit system cannot fit their needs,” said fifth-year Concurrent Education student Christopher Yendt, who is pushing for seamless transit service.
“The current transit system as it stands operates as a hub-jumping service. You can get into a number of towns around the region, but once you are there, you’re forced to navigate the transit system of that municipality instead of just one, and that is where complications arise in what should be simple and efficient public transit,” said Yendt.
With an increase in population to the Niagara region for academics and employment, there is a need for a transit system that can handle the multiple demographics of people that rely on public transit to get things done.
Brock and Niagara College students are the only ones in Ontario that have to negotiate multiple transit systems within their region. With this arises the problem of coordinating appropriate routes, as well as managing the often lengthy wait times for transportation between
different towns.
This issue has seen many students struggle to obtain employment around the area as well as hindering the educational accessibility of St. Catharines to those that live outside of it. By unifying public transit in the Niagara Region, students and citizens alike will be better connected to surrounding towns allowing them greater access to employment opportunities and educational resources.
“Our biggest roadblock is accepting the status quo and making excuses for what we lack,” said Yendt. “People need to know that this is not a city by city problem, but a collective regional issue to help bring prosperity to the Niagara Region as a whole.”

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