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The Region of Waterloo rapid transit system, ION, will connect the three major urban centres of the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.
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 37 kilometre route of light rail transit that stretches from Cambridge to Waterloo.
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:
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.
Please note: Free Friday's are being offered for the ION bus rapid transit portion of the route only. This is to encourage new riders along the route.
Those boarding at stops in between the Ainslie Street Terminal and Fairview Park Mall will not be charged a fare during the free Friday promotion.