The Region of Waterloo rapid transit system, ION, will connect the three major urban centres of the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

ION Logo

ION is made up of light rail transit (LRT) and bus rapid transit. LRT will operate separately from traffic, making it a more efficient, reliable, comfortable, convenient, and effective way to travel. Bus rapid transit will drive in regular traffic, but will have special features making it faster, consistent and convenient.

In 2011, Council approved the implementation of LRT.  A staged approach was selected, similar to what other communities have done when building rapid transit systems.

Stage 1 includes the construction of LRT from Kitchener to Waterloo as well as the implementation of 17 kilometres of ION bus rapid transit from Cambridge's Ainslie Street Terminal to Kitchener's Fairview Park Mall.

Stage 2 will see the ION bus rapid transit route in Cambridge converted to LRT, creating a seamless route of light rail transit that stretches from Cambridge to Waterloo. Visit the Stage 2 ION website for more information.

Stay safe around ION

When the ION trains arrive, we will begin testing. Here's how to stay safe around ION trains:

  • Obey signage
    • Some intersections have been modified, please pay attention to and follow any new restrictions and signage
  • Stay off the tracks
    • Tracks are for trains. Never stop or park anywhere on the LRT tracks. Any vehicle stopped or parked on the LRT tracks will be ticketed or towed.
  • Stay alert
    • ION trains run on electricity and may not always be heard against typical street noise. Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists should treat ION trains with the same caution as any other vehicle. Always cross at designated crossings and stay alert by not being distracted by mobile devices or headphones.

We look forward to launching ION in 2018 and we appreciate your cooperation and support while we test the ION light rail system. 

The signs below have been installed accross the Region, please get to know them and obey all new signage and signals.

Cyclists, watch for tracks ahead

Track beside roadway

Do not stop on tracks


Keep off tracks

Lane reserved for train

Look both ways for train

No right turn, train approaching


Light rail vehicle traffic signal
Learn more about LRV signals



ION Bus Rapid Transit


The first step towards light rail transit (LRT) in Cambridge has arrived.
ION bus rapid transit service began September 7, 2015 and travels 17 km between Ainslie Street Terminal and Fairview Park Mall.

This important milestone will help build ridership along Cambridge's busiest corridor with stops on Hespeler Road for employees, shoppers and visitors.

ION bus rapid service includes many new features:

  • New, large modern stops with canopy shelters, benches and extra lighting
  • Limestone feature walls, significant to Cambridge's unique heritage
  • Accessible platform edges with textured surface
  • Garbage receptacles and bike racks
  • Passenger information displays with real-time bus arrivals
  • Signal priority for approaching buses at all intersections on Hespeler Road
  • Bus only lanes at Pinebush, Munch and Coronation allowing buses to bypass traffic line-ups at these intersections
  • A direct link to LRT when it launches.

iXpress buses will be used in the interim, providing continued service to Kitchener and Waterloo. Look for new ION branded buses to replace iXpress buses, in 2017 pending Regional Council approval.


Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Waterloo Region Rapid Transit system and the Transit Redesign project.