ION bus rapid transit service begins September 7
Waterloo Region The Region of Waterloo takes its first step towards light rail transit (LRT) in Cambridge this fall when ION bus rapid transit (BRT) service begins on September 7. ION BRT will travel 17 kilometres between the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge and the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener. The service includes six stops, including four along Hespeler Road.
This important milestone delivers on the decision to implement LRT in two stages in Waterloo Region. ION BRT is expected to build transit ridership in Cambridge, especially along the city’s busiest corridor, Hespeler Road.
ION BRT will provide a direct link to ION LRT at the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal when the service between Kitchener and Waterloo launches in 2017. Stage 2 ION will see ION BRT converted to LRT, creating a seamless 37-kilometre route across the region’s three urban centres.
The ION BRT service features large modern stops, with canopy shelters, benches and extra lighting. The service also includes passenger information displays with real-time bus arrivals, signal priority for approaching buses at all intersections on Hespeler Road and bus-only queue jump lanes at Pinebush, Munch and Coronation, allowing buses to bypass traffic line-ups at these intersections.
ION BRT will be operated by Grand River Transit (GRT). Until ION LRT service begins in 2017, iXpress buses will be used for the ION BRT service. In 2017, ION-branded buses will replace the iXpress buses.
Every Friday this fall, from September 11 to December 18, residents can ride ION BRT for free to experience the new service.