The region offers a well-developed public transit system and a variety of transportation options:
Set to launch service in 2017, ION is a visionary plan that will help shape the community by bringing Light Rail Transit (LRT) to Waterloo Region in two stages.
Stage 1 is a 36-kilometre corridor that includes 19 kilometres of LRT from the Conestoga Mall transit terminal in Waterloo to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener and 17 kilometres of adapted Bus Rapid Transit (aBRT) from the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener. Stage 2 will see the aBRT route converted to LRT, creating a 37-kilometre route of LRT across the regions three urban centres.
GrandLinq, the Waterloo Regions public-private partner on Stage 1 LRT, will design, build, finance, operate and maintain ION over the next 30 years.
All three levels of government are funding ION, including $300 million from the Province, one-third of eligible costs up to $265 million from the federal government and $253 million from the Region.
ION will provide a frequent, reliable and convenient way for residents to travel throughout the region. With 200,000 new residents expected to move to the Region of Waterloo in the next 20 years, ION will encourage development in existing urban areas, limit urban sprawl and protect the regions farmland by preserving the environment.
ION is part of a coordinated, Region-wide transit system that will connect rapid transit with a network of Grand River Transit bus routes. It will move people efficiently across a fully-integrated transportation system with links to multi-purpose trails, VIA Rail and GO Transit services to help provide sustainable transportation choices for all residents, businesses, and visitors.
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