Off the top of my head, there are a couple good reasons for bringing GO Transit from Toronto to the Niagara Region.
- Hitching low-growth urban centres like St. Catharines to Toronto and Hamilton without paving over all the farms in between.
- Bringing tourists and their precious dollars quickly and cheaply from Pearson to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
But at the same time, there aren’t hordes of people clamoring to commute to Toronto every morning. There might be after the service is implemented, but the first months to years might be slow. People have to see the connection as reliable and bearable enough to change jobs or changes modes of transport, and that’s not something most people take lightly.
Rather than pegging our GO hopes on a bus to Hamilton, work on which is moves glacially at the best of times, Niagara Region and the province should negotiate GO service throughout the region. There’s no reason GO Transit must remain a Toronto-centric service.
Right now, city-to-city transit in Niagara Region is just a collection of one-off deals for each route. So, for example, St. Catharines runs a bus to Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and both Welland and Niagara Falls runs a bus each to Brock University in St. Catharines.
It has been suggested that the region develop an integrated transit system, but this was met with resistance. Integrated transit would make travel across the Region simpler for passengers, but setting one up from scratch would require expertise and capital that the Region doesn’t have.
So why not ask for GO buses to run between Niagara’s cities? We are just as much a part of Ontario as the GTA. Affordable, reliable service between cities grants mobility to the less affluent and the environmentally conscious.
I can’t finish this thought because the radio is distracting me, but I’m going to publish anyway because I think I’ve made my point.