New Directions

Graphic of GRT's 6 new directions priorities around a circle

GRT has laid out an ambitious plan to build a better, faster transit network over the next five years, centred on ION light rail.

A strong transit network is essential to keep our region moving as our population continues to grow. Investing in transit will help us manage congestion, reduce urban sprawl, and get the most out of our transportation infrastructure.

Key Benefits of GRT's New Directions plan

  • Seamless connections to ION light rail
    Bus routes redesigned to connect directly to ION light rail stations so you can transfer straight from bus to train.
  • New express routes running on key corridors
    Fast, direct service between key destinations.
  • More frequent service on busy routes
    Leave when you want, without checking the schedule, because there's always a bus coming.
  • More direct routes supporting a grid network
    Local routes redesigned for more efficient travel
  • Fast and convenient electronic fare payment
    Tap a smart card on the electronic farebox to pay your fare, and load value on your card right from home.
  • More comfortable rides, stops and stations
    New terminals and transit hubs, more shelters and more real-time displays. Plus more frequent service means less crowded buses.

New 205 Ottawa iXpress route

The 205 iXpress would travel along Ottawa Street between Fischer-Hallman Road and Lackner Boulevard. This crosstown express route would connect to ION stations in addition to the 201 and 204 iXpress. 

The route would run every 15 minutes during the daytime on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on evenings, weekends and holidays. Up to 15 new iXpress stations would be built, with improved amenities.

Where will it take me?

  • Sunrise Centre
  • Laurentian Centre
  • ION Stations (Mill, Borden)
  • Kitchener Auditorium
  • Stanley Park Mall
  • Lackner Centre

View map of the proposed 205 Ottawa iXpress route (PDF)

2018 Transit Network

The preliminary 2018 Transit Network would be implemented with the launch of ION light rail service, and involves the restructuring of routes to more directly connect with ION Light Rail stations and minimize the duplication of service. 

Most routes in the Central Transit Corridor (central spine that runs through the heart of the urban communities in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo) and Southwest Kitchener would be modified.

View map of proposed 2018 Transit Network (PDF)

2021 Transit Network

The preliminary 2021 Transit Network has been developed based on three key principles:

  1. Completing the iXpress network;
  2. Realigning routes to a more grid-type network, with a focus on ION stations; and
  3. Providing 10-minute or greater frequency on high performance routes.

In addition to urban transit service improvements, new and expanded services for the rural Townships are being considered.

View map of the proposed 2021 Transit Network (PDF)

Proposed Service Maps

2017 Service Plan: Map of service improvements (PDF)

2018 Service Plan: Map of new Ottawa iXpress route (PDF)

2018 Transit Network Map (PDF)

2021 Transit Network (PDF)

Integration of ION into the GRT iXpress Network Map (PDF)

The proposed service plans are subject to Regional Council approval.

Submit your feedback

Submit your feedback on GRT's New Directions and the proposed service maps.

Submit your feedback using the online form

2017-21 GRT Business Plan

An interim report on GRT's 2017-21 Business Plan was presented to the Planning and Works Committee of Regional Council on August 9, 2016.

The Regional Transportation Master Plan (RTMP) outlines a transportation network with transit at its core. The RTMP includes ridership targets of 28 million rides annually by 2021 and 53 million rides by 2031. GRT's 2017-2021 Business Plan maps out how we will improve our transit system over the next five years to meet those ridership targets.

Investing in transit benefits all residents in our communities. Greater transit use makes our transportation system more efficient for all users. It also supports a strong economy, and promotes sustainable development and more liveable communities.

Read the GRT Business Plan 2017-21 Interim Report here.