What did people think? Future riders react to LRT car tour

Thousands of Waterloo-area residents lined up outside the region's operations, maintenance and storage facility on Saturday to get a glimpse of the region's first ION light rail train car.

Over 2,600 people came out to get a glimpse of region's first ION vehicle

By the end of Saturday's tour, more than 2,600 people came out to get a glimpse of the region's first ION vehicle. (Carmen Ponciano/CBC News)

Thousands of Waterloo-area residents lined up outside the region's operations, maintenance and storage facility on Saturday to get a glimpse of the region's first ION light rail train car.

The facility was busy as everyone made their way through the line for a chance to walk through the LRT vehicle, sit in it and speak with regional and city officials and representatives from Grandlinq and Bombardier.

Within the first hour, more than 800 people had stopped by for the tour. By the end of the four-hour open house, more than 2,600 families, couples and curious individuals came out.

"I'd like [people] to go home thinking this is a really neat-looking vehicle," Tom Galloway, chair of the region's planning and works committee, told CBC News on Saturday.

What did people think?

Each train has 56 seats, has lots of standing room and can hold around 200 people at a time, said Mark MacGregor, a project manager for Bombardier, adding that people will experience a smooth ride when they board the train.

Mike Boos, who came to the open house with his two children, lives near Borden Station and liked that he would be able to use the train with his family in the future.

"We are really happy. We came here with a stroller and the low-floor boarding was great for us to be able to get on quick and easy," he said.

"Once it's up and running, it's probably going to be great and spacious — great for our strollers, great for our bikes and great for our family."

Within the first hour of the open house, more than 800 people had lined up to check out the ION vehicle. (Carmen Ponciano/ CBC News)

It will also be a convenient form of transportation for students, said Vincent Baike and Katie Turriff, second-year planning students at the University of Waterloo.

"I've ridden the equivalent vehicle in Toronto; it's quite nice," said Baike. "I'm looking forward to next year, especially as a student, getting around will be a lot easier."

"I can definitely see a lot of student apartment complexes going up in Kitchener because the LRT is so convenient to go to the universities," said Turriff.

Each train has 56 seats, lots of room to stand in and can hold about 200 people. (Carmen Ponciano/CBC News)

Others, like Charles Gieringer, said although he may not use the LRT, he recognizes that it would be a convenient form of transportation for others.

"I don't know if I'm the demographic for it — I like my car — but I can see, for future generations, where it will be quite a good mode of transportation," he said.

The community also had a chance to speak with officials from the city, Grandlinq and Bombardier. (Carmen Ponciano/ CBC News)

The next ION vehicle is scheduled to arrive in June, with other vehicles scheduled to arrive every 15 days. By December, all 14 vehicles should be accounted for.

Test runs of the ION vehicle may also happen in June. The ION vehicle will be travelling on the test track between Northfield Drive and Erb Street in Waterloo.

Clarifications

  • Tom Galloway is chair of the Region of Waterloo's planning and works committee. An earlier version described it as a city committee.
    Apr 10, 2017 11:58 AM ET

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