Federal and local officials marked the launch of a new bus service for the Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation System — WEGO, that provides a seamless connection between tourist attractions and other transit networks.
"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 Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. "WEGO is fully accessible and equipped with cutting edge technology and will make visiting Niagara Falls more convenient and enjoyable."
The in-service launch of the buses is the first step toward 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.
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 greenhouse 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.