GRT sets new ridership record

Posted on Thursday September 14, 2023

Waterloo Region – Grand River Transit (GRT) set a new ridership record during the first week of September, recording 150,000 boardings per day. That’s like filling The Aud 19 times over. GRT’s previous high was 110,000 boardings per day, which was set earlier this spring.

A boarding is counted when someone steps on a GRT bus or ION train for a trip. Of those 150,000 boardings, 130,000 were on buses and another 20,000 were on ION light rail trains.

“More people than ever are choosing to take transit as an affordable and sustainable method of transportation,” said Coun. Colleen James, Chair of the Planning and Works Committee. “Not only has our ridership recovered post pandemic, but it’s continuing to grow, showing how much our community values and depends on the service.”

Ridership typically peaks during the first two weeks of September when students are back in school.

“We expect ridership to continue to be significantly higher than last fall,” said Doug Spooner, Director of Transit Services. “Our operators and staff are doing an incredible job of handling crowded buses, customer inquiries and fare product purchases.”

“We know that there has been crowding on some buses, as a result of more people riding transit. We continue to monitor routes and trips for overcrowding and are ensuring we continually have all of our available buses on the road.”

Earlier this month, GRT added 18,000 new hours of service in Cambridge, as well as restoring some late evening trips and adding new weekend service in new growth areas.