Kitchener-Waterloo

LRT Cambridge proposed route announced

Proposed route plans for the second stage of the Ion LRT in Waterloo Region as the project moves to its next phase into Cambridge were announced Friday.

Briefing session mid-day Friday by Region, Ion officials

The Region of Waterloo announced a proposed route map for the second stage of the Ion LRT project, as the focus shifts to Cambridge. (Region of Waterloo )

Proposed route plans for the second stage of the Ion LRT in Waterloo Region as the project moves to its next phase into Cambridge were announced Friday.

The project's focus is an approximate 17 kilometre light rail line that will create a "seamless" link with the Kitchener-Waterloo LRT, scheduled to begin testing this winter and expected to start service in late 2018, Ion said.

Cambridge is currently served by bus service along a similar route through the community, the BRT, which began operations in 2015. Stage two will eventually replace BRT with the LRT.

Preferred route

The region originally put forward a variety of route options for the second phase of LRT, according to Paula Sawicki, manager and coordinator of rapid transit for the Region of Waterloo.

After consulting with the community, the City of Cambridge, stakeholders and agencies, regional staff looked at design and costs, and presented regional councillors with a preferred route.

Sawicki said staff picked the preferred route after comparing alternate routes and seeing how well they performed in a number of categories, including how each route would impact the social and cultural atmosphere, the natural environment and the economy.

"We have a technical team that works on the project and so it's really our technical recommendation at this point with the public's input," Sawicki said.

She added that at this time they are not sure where the route will end in downtown Cambridge.

Alternative LRT routes in Cambridge may be discussed at public meetings scheduled for February and March, 2017. (ION)

Public consultations

Sawicki said a second round of public consultations are planned for late February and early March, which will reveal changes to the original route and show the public that their concerns and requests have been taken into consideration.

Those meetings are scheduled for: 

  • February 23, 2017, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Lions Arena, 20 Rittenhouse Road, Kitchener
  • February 28, 2017, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Kin Club of Cambridge, 1400 Hamilton Street, Cambridge
  • March  1, 2017, from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Newfoundland Club, 1500 Dunbar Road, Cambridge

She said another round of consultations will happen in the fall, after which time her team will be ready to propose a recommended route to regional council.

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