Region of Waterloo ION LRT – Stage 1

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Image Credit: Actual Media

Ranking for 2017: 59

Industry Sector: Transit

Specific Sector: LRT

Range: $500,000,000 - $1 billion

Project Value: $818,000,000

Federal: $265 million

Provincial: $300 million

Government Funds Involved:

Funding Source: P3

Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2018


Transit options for the Region of Waterloo were debated at length before light-rail technology was selected instead of bus rapid transit.

This rapid transit service will shape the future of the community’s transportation system by bringing LRT in two stages. Stage 1 is expected to open in 2017 and includes a 19-kilometre LRT route from Conestoga Mall Transit Terminal to Fairview Park Mall Transit Terminal, with stops in downtown Kitchener, Grand River Hospital, UpTown Waterloo, both universities, and Waterloo Park. It also features a 17-kilometre route of adapted bus rapid transit (aBRT) from Fairview Park Mall to the Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge, with four stops along Hespeler Road.

Stage 2 will see the BRT line converted to LRT, creating a seamless 37-kilometre service of 23 stops between Cambridge and Waterloo.

Phase one was originally to open in late 2017, issues with the light rail vehicles to be used on the project has caused completion to be moved to spring or summer of 2018.

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