Region of Waterloo Council approves transit service improvements
Regional Council approved the 2018 planned Grand River Transit (GRT) service improvements. GRT has been experiencing continuous ridership increases since September 2017. In the remaining months of 2018, significant changes will help integrate the conventional bus network with ION LRT service. The streamlining of routes will improve directness of travel and create more of a grid-like network as well as serve new areas of growth. The first service improvement stage was the implementation of Route 205 iXpress Ottawa.
The second stage will occur on September 3. It will boost service on existing routes that serve Conestoga College Doon Campus as well as extending routes to cover new residential areas west of Fischer Hallman and Huron Roads and the Conservation Meadows community. A new dedicated route will also be added to the Huron Business Park. The third stage will occur when ION LRT is launched and the planned network redesign is implemented.
To improve Grand River Transit (GRT) service in areas where operating traditional bus routes is challenging, Regional Council has approved three pilot transit alternative service delivery options. On September 4, 2018 three new pilot projects will begin: a subsidized taxi program, a community bus and a ridesharing partnership program with RideCo. These pilots will focus on seniors’ facilities and provide connections to conventional transit in northwest Waterloo, Central Hespeler and Trinity Village/Freeport areas.
The estimated cost of running a ten-month pilot for all three areas is approximately $180,000. The implementation of these pilot programs will allow GRT to gain knowledge and test an innovative new form of transportation service delivery, while providing a cost-effective option more suitable than conventional bus service. The pilot project will be monitored for a ten-month period and adjustments will be made as necessary to respond to demand and customer experience.