Thorold council green lights regional consolidated transit

·2 min read

Thanks to the vote from Thorold council, the consolidated regional transit system is now a go.

At its Dec. 21 meeting, Thorold council voted in favour of implementing a consolidated transit system, providing the region with the triple-majority vote needed to move forward with implementation.

Matt Robinson, director of the GO implementation office for the Niagara region, was in attendance Tuesday.

"This is a significant decision for this council and all of Niagara," Robinson said in his delegation to council.

"Simply put, there will be no more municipal charges for transit as of Jan. 1, 2023, your regional taxes pay for the service in your municipality," Robinson said.

At the end of his delegation, Robinson was then questioned by council on a number of issues, including job creation, environmental friendliness and subsidization of student transit in collaboration with Brock University and Niagara College.

Before voting, council members praised Robinson and the region for their work, including Coun. Anthony Longo, who said "I believe you've done a great job. The social, economic and environmental benefits to this are what we need."

“I think this is an amazing opportunity for our city,” said Coun. Victoria Wilson. She said she saw the incoming transit system as nothing other than a positive, “better services, better commuting between the various cities,” she added.

Thorold is home to lots of employment land and the city is seeking more employees to set up shop, she said.

“What a better way to do that than by making them able to recruit and train employees throughout the region that are going to be able to get to their facility? I think this is a great thing.”

Council — sans Coun. Jim Handley, who was absent from the meeting — then voted in unanimous favour of the transit system via a recorded vote.

Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Grimsby, Port Colborne and Niagara-on-the-Lake all voted yes, prior to Thorold.

Now, with seven of 12 municipalities in favour and a regional vote of 24-1 in favour, the region has satisfied the conditions for a triple majority, giving them the green light to implement the transit system.

Pelham, Lincoln, Wainfleet and West Lincoln have yet to cast votes on the matter. Welland has been the only municipality so far to not support the move.

The consolidated regional transit system is expected to be running by January 2023.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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