NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario — April 2 marked the launch of Niagara Classic Transport’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Transit, a public-private partnership between NCT and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
For the Heritage District Shuttle service, passengers entering Niagara-on-the-Lake from Niagara Falls on motorcoaches are brought to Fort George, where they climb aboard mini-buses that will take them into the National Historic District of Niagara-on-the-Lake and return them on a loop. This service runs from May to November with three buses running the four-minute loop.
The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake also will provide a fixed-conventional transit system that operates Monday through Saturday from 7:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. with 37 stops along an eight-mile route. The conventional transit will bring residents, tourists and students across the town for a fare of $3 per direction. Niagara College students can use their U-Pass to use the system.
The service will use four new Girardin Bluebird buses, which are equipped for 18 passengers plus two wheelchair positions. The buses have Ricon lift systems to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Live GPS information is available to passengers through integration with Enterprise GPS.
On its first day, nearly 30 passengers tried out the NCT Transit system. To help launch the new service, passengers are able to ride for free all week except for Good Friday. It is estimated that students will account for a large part of the ridership. Close to 100 passengers also used the Heritage District Shuttle service.
NCT is working with Symetric Productions of St. Catharines, Ontario, to develop a “Transit App” for Niagara-on-the-Lake Transit.
The NOTL Transit team will be headed up by 2012 LCT Street Team Ambassador Crispin Bottomley, who will serve as transit coordinator and community liaison.
Niagara Classic Transport, owned by brothers David and Matthew Mole, took home two 2012 LCT Marketing Awards for best print ad and best website.
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor