Grand River Transit

Grand River Transit says ridership is exceeding expectations along a new bus route. (Brian St. Denis/CBC)

Grand River Transit says it had to add more buses to one of its newest routes in order to keep up with higher-than-expected demand.

The Region's transit agency says it has added four buses along the 202 iXpress, the newest iXpress line in the region, on Columbia Street in Waterloo and a number of others on University Avenue. 

"We've seen some overcrowding on buses and some having a hard time keeping on time," said John Cicuttin, the acting director of transportation planning for Grand River Transit.

Cicutti says 202 iXpress is growing faster than expected. In fact, the route has already met and exceeded its 2016 ridership targets by almost 50 per cent. Although it's only been in service for a month, the route is on track to get a million riders in its first year. 

The surge in ridership is bolstering the region's confidence in the future of its transit plans. The iXpress routes are designed to one day connect people with the region's yet-to-be-constructed LRT, in order to get where they're going. 

"So it is going to be an integrating system and this is really good news when we see this kind of ridership on these corridors," said Cicuttin.

Laurier Biology student Brandon Itwaru says the GRT has a good service, but sometimes the ride to school can be a little more intimate than he'd like.

"Crowded definitely. I think there should be more buses, but the timing is not so bad," said Itwaru.