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Nov. 26, 2020 | Thursday
Local News
NOTL's new $3 ride-share transit service starts Nov. 23
Sourced photo.

Niagara-on-the-Lake's new on-demand transit is scheduled to be up and running Nov. 23.

While some town residents are looking forward to the new transit system, others are wondering how well the new service is going to provide for the whole town.

The $3 service is a ride-sharing platform and will have two buses serving three areas of NOTL — Old Town, Virgil and Glendale.

It's uncertain when the bus route will expand to include St. Davids, Queenston and NOTL's rural areas.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said expanding the route is "being discussed through the budget deliberations."

"We won't know any more until the finance committee completes their budget review," she said.

Some transit users are unhappy there's been a long lag between the town's bus service stopping and the new one starting. 

On the town's website, a list of frequently asked questions is provided about transit services:

1. Is NOTL Transit no longer operating in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

A. With the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, the town's fixed-route transit system began to see decreased ridership as a result of the stay home orders being issued throughout the region and province. Subsequent physical distancing measures were instituted, leading the town to suspend transit services indefinitely as of April 9. As such, the pandemic and suspension of services have allowed staff to review the existing transit system and work with the region and Via Mobility LLC to discuss the possibility of an on-demand system to replace the current conventional fixed-route system.

2. Will NOTL Transit ever operate again?

A. Not in its previous conventional format. NRT On-Demand Transit is the new transit system in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

3. Why can't the conventional NOTL Transit run until this new program launches?

A. The CAO/town staff have elected not to for various reasons, including cost savings, COVID-19 concerns, extra costs for additional COVID-19 related safety that would be spent for short-term and be wasted.

4. Why can't the conventional NOTL Transit run in conjunction with this new on-demand program?

A. Running two systems simultaneously would mean twice the cost for the same area. It is not economically or environmentally desirable or sustainable and it is not council approved.

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