Governments launch the Niagara Falls WEGO system into service
NIAGARA FALLS, ON, Aug. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Michael Chan, Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Fort Erie and Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism); His Worship Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls; and Janice Thomson, Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), today marked the launch into service of the Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation System - WEGO. Service officially began on August 20, 2012.
"The Harper government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Nicholson. "Today's in-service launch of WEGO signifies a major milestone for Niagara's tourism industry. Our government is pleased to invest in projects like these that increase efficiency of the transportation system, reduce traffic congestion and support the local economy."
"The Niagara Falls area is an iconic destination that attracts visitors from around the world," said Minister Chan. "The WEGO system will improve the overall experience for tourists travelling between the city and the Niagara Parks Commission's lands. The Ontario government is proud to invest in a system that is fully accessible, so that all visitors have easier access to Niagara's wonderful attractions. By working closely with our partners here in Niagara and across Ontario, our government is helping to advance our tourism industry, making it more competitive and creating jobs."
"WEGO is a great alternative to driving and will give visitors and locals a chance to hop on and explore Niagara Falls at their leisure," said Mayor Diodati. "WEGO is fully accessible and equipped with cutting edge technology and will make visiting Niagara Falls more convenient and enjoyable."
"We are extremely proud to be building on the success of Niagara Parks' existing transportation system, through this new WEGO service," stated NPC Chair Thomson. "For the past 27 years, the Niagara Parks Peoplemover system has created connections and linked visitors to the vast number of world-class tourist attractions and sites within our Park. WEGO will allow us to expand upon this by providing a more modern, integrated and fully accessible system to all those visitors and commuters who wish to visit Niagara Parks and travel within our destination."
The in-service launch of the buses is the first step towards the completion of the WEGO system. When the system is completed in 2014, 27 fully accessible buses with intelligent transportation and fare collection systems will be in service; eight existing Niagara Parks Peoplemover stations will be upgraded; new pick-up and drop-off points will be established; a storage and maintenance facility for the new buses will be constructed; and infrastructure improvements will be made along the Niagara River Parkway and Victoria Avenue.
The WEGO system provides a seamless connection between tourist areas and attractions within the City and Niagara Parks, while providing visitors and local commuters with a convenient way to experience the destination. The new system also allows for easier connections with other existing transit networks such as VIA Rail and GO Transit systems. The new WEGO system will also reduce congestion, reduce Green House Gas emissions and support further urban development along the route, by increasing the capacity of the service, frequency and reliability of the system.
The WEGO buses are fitted with the latest in intelligent transportation technology, featuring on-board screens, next stop display and announcements, transit signal priority and real-time information on the Web. The buses also have accessibility features and use the latest in clean diesel technology and have new maintenance and cooling technology which will result in a reduction of fuel and emissions.
The total cost of the completed WEGO Visitor Transportation System will be $50 million. The Harper Government will contribute up to $25 million and the Government of Ontario will contribute $25 million.
Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 focuses on creating new opportunities for jobs and growth, and ensuring long-term prosperity for Canadians. Strengthening infrastructure across the country is an important part of this plan. Thanks to the Harper Government's leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery, with nearly 750,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. Find out more about the opportunities in Economic Action Plan 2012 at www.budget.gc.ca/2012/home-accueil-eng.html.
These projects also support Building Together, the Government of Ontario's long-term infrastructure plan to repair, rebuild and renew the province's roads and highways, bridges, public transit, schools and postsecondary institutions, hospitals and courthouses. Ontario has invested over $75 billion in infrastructure since 2003. Ontario's planned investments of more than $35 billion over the next three years will create or preserve over 100,000 jobs on average each year. Building modern, efficient infrastructure helps make Ontario's economy more productive and helps improve the quality of life, now and in the future for all Ontarians.
SOURCE: Transport CanadaFor further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Office of Kim Craitor, MPP
Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism,
Culture and Sport (Tourism)
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Tony Baldinelli, Acting Director
Communications, Marketing and Stakeholder
The Niagara Parks Commission
905-356-2241, extension 220
Mayor, City of Niagara Falls
905-356-7521, extension 4201
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