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Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
Letter: Litter and poor communication, we all need to do better
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

The announcement last week about the province spending $6.8 million to improve public transit across Niagara Region is, of course, welcome news.

Now, can some of that be put to improving train travel, signage and cleaning up the debris along the rail corridor?

I used the GO train from Niagara Falls to Union Station on April 20 and was excited that such a service was available so my husband did not have to drive me to Pearson airport from where I travelled to the U.K.

However, those feelings quickly dissipated due to the following:

  • The train does not advance to the charming station house in Niagara Falls but stops roughly 200 yards away from where people are waiting. There is no signage to indicate the train will not pull up to the station, which requires travellers to figure it out independently and then run for the train at the last minute.
  • The train that day brought a vast number of visitors to Niagara Falls (from Toronto, I assume). My husband noted that if he had been a tourist on that train and left to scramble along a litter-strewn narrow pathway (with no signage or building in sight), he would have been horrified as to what kind of place he had come to visit. Both of us have travelled extensively in Europe by rail and public transit and even in the smallest of towns we have never encountered anything like this.
  • According to the published GO train schedules, the departure time for this train should have been 12:04 p.m., but the announced departure by train staff indicated it was 11:58, making me wonder if everyone got on the train as intended. The only other train to Union Station that day was in the evening.
  • As the train pulled out of Niagara Falls heading to St. Catharines, the rail corridor made me ashamed. This is not what Canada should look like. The debris strewn everywhere was disgusting. Trash from many impromptu homeless encampments (which is an ongoing problem beyond public transportation), to blown-in litter, to the dumping of tires, appliances, mattresses and plastic everywhere was unreal.

This is not only unsightly, but harmful to wildlife and ground water.

I just helped organize an Earth Day event in Niagara-on-the-Lake so what I saw through the train window was extremely distressing. We all need to do better.

Young and old, Niagara citizens need to care about the environment and the health and appearance of our towns and cities.

Lidija Biro

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