Students Looking for Transit Change in Niagara Region

BROCK UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ UNION (BUSU) & NIAGARA COLLEGE STUDENT ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL (NCSAC)

JOINT MEDIA ADVISORY

September 18, 2014

BUSU & NCSAC

28,000 Students Looking for Transit Change in Niagara Region

On Tuesday, September 16, both The Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) and Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC), representing approximately 28,000 students in the Niagara Region, presented to the Transportation Strategy Steering Committee (TSSC) of the Niagara Region.  The presentation focused on the history of student involvement in the transit systems, the ongoing contributions by students and to the student association’s involvement in future decisions made about transit.  BUSU and NCSAC also outlined how the students that they represent are future employees, employers and leaders in the Niagara Region.

BUSU and NCSAC estimate that approximately 28,000 students attending Brock University and Niagara College depend on the various transit systems in the Niagara Region as their main access points to education, employment and daily activities.  Currently BUSU and NCSAC annually contribute approximately $6 million over eight (8) months (September – April) to the various transit commissions in the Niagara Region.  This contribution currently ensures access to St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Niagara Region Transit.  BUSU has been providing this contribution and service to its students since 2003 and NCSAC has been contributing since 2007.  Between the two (2) student organizations, approximately 16,000 current students have already picked up their universal bus pass for the 2014 school year.

Shane Malcolm, President, NCSAC states, “the old adage ‘to get around in Niagara you need to get a car’ no longer holds water as the students of today are taking on the ever growing financial burden of accessing post-secondary education as a means to stay competitive in the job market. Niagara Region is losing the opportunity to retain the youth talent that our institutions produce each year to other jurisdictions such as GTA, Hamilton, London and other areas that have robust public transit systems that meet the needs of students and recent graduates.”

BUSU and NCSAC have long been advocating for an integrated transit solution that would see students able to access St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, Fort Erie and the entire Niagara Region through one seamless transit provider.  This would also ensure that both BUSU and NCSAC would be able to work with and negotiate with one transit provider ensuring that the needs of their respective diverse populations would be met each and every year as the transit needs and infrastructure changes.

“Niagara residents have witnessed ‘seamless’ and fully-integrated transit develop into a topic of momentous importance within the Region. I see the effects of non-integrated transit on a daily basis whether it is in conversation with employers, permanent residents, friends, family or any one of the 18,000, whom I am proudly employed to represent,” said Kyle Rose, Vice President of Finance & Administration, BUSU. “Students experience limitations on job opportunities, employers experience limitations on their potential employees/customers and in the worst case scenario the ability of a student to access their educational institution is limited as well. The fault should not solely be placed on the respective transit providers however; if the ramifications of poor transit within our region were not evident before, they definitely are now.”

BUSU and NCSAC look forward to working with key decision makers in Niagara to bettering transit for their students and the transit users in the Region. Both organizations will be hosting an all candidates forum on campus for the upcoming municipal and regional elections. Additionally, a “Ride the Bus” day will be held Wednesday, October 8, 2014 inviting all local politicians and administrators from Brock University and Niagara College to take a trip on transit to interact with riders and to live the life in the day of a student using transit.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

* Juliette Prouse, General Manager, Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), 905-688-5550 x4199; [email protected]  

* Jennifer Howarth, Executive Director, Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC) 905-735-2211 x7402; [email protected]


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