There are a number of areas within Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge that are difficult to serve with conventional transit service. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Lack of a grid of arterial and connector roads
  • Neighbourhoods with circuitous streets, cul-de-sacs and limited connections to major roads
  • Lack of sidewalks, and buildings set far back from the street
  • Physical barriers such as rivers, highways and steep grades
  • Lower-density and new growth areas
  • Transit-dependent facilities (apartments, medical buildings, large employers, seniors' complexes) located far from transit.

Different options

GRT is exploring new options to provide flexible service to these areas. The 2017-2021 GRT Business Plan lays out three possible options to explore:

Ridesharing

  • Book, pay and track your ride using your mobile phone (standard GRT fares apply)
  • Would also work from a computer/kiosk for customers without smartphones
  • A vehicle would pick you up at a communal stop and drop you off at a GRT transfer point to continue your trip
  • Use shared-ride sedans or mini-vans to provide the service

Subsidized taxi

  • Call in to GRT/customer service to book your ride and return trip (standard fares apply)
  • Select from a number of pre-scheduled pick-up times
  • Taxi would arrive at your door and provide point-to-point service - from your origin to a pre-selected destination / transfer point
  • You may have to share a ride with your neighbours

Community bus

  • Call GRT/customer service to book your ride and return trip (standard GRT fares apply)
  • Identify your preferred pick-up and drop-off time
  • Walk to a communal stop at least 10 minutes before your identified pick-up time
  • BusPlus vehicle would pick you up and take you and other riders to a GRT transfer point to continue your trip

Pilot service areas

GRT will be piloting an on-demand flexible solution in 2-3 urban areas within Waterloo Region where a fixed-route transit solution is not feasible or cost-effective. Customer satisfaction and effectiveness of the service will be assessed after 8-9 months.

The three pilot service areas are:

  • Northwest Waterloo - roughly bounded by Wideman Road, Laurelwood Drive, Fischer-Hallman Road, Keats Way, and Forested Hills/Westside Trails.
  • Central Hespeler - roughly bounded by Rife Avenue, Cooper Street, Gunn Avenue and Franklin Boulevard.
  • Trinity Village/Freeport Campus

All of the proposed pilot areas have:

  • No fixed-route conventional service planned before 2021
  • A seniors' facility present
  • A indirect/circuitous street network that makes transit access challenging
  • Rank in the top 50% of areas by number of customer requests for new service