Kitchener-Waterloo

Nearly 300K rode LRT in first 11 days, region says

Nearly 300,000 passengers took the ION LRT during the first 11 days of service while it was free, the Region of Waterloo reports.
The region says nearly 300,000 passengers took a ride on the ION LRT during the first 11 days of service when it was free to do so. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)

Nearly 300,000 people boarded the ION LRT during the first 11 days of service, the region says.

The LRT was free to ride during that period, and 299,760 passengers took trips on the train between June 21 to July 1.

More than 73,000 of those trips were during the opening weekend, of which 21,500 rode on opening day when the service only ran for eight hours.

The region said that during the same time period, more than one million passengers boarded Grand River Transit services system-wide.

Regional Chair Karen Redman said she was thrilled the community "has embraced this exciting new service."

Regional Coun. Tom Galloway, who also heads the region's planning and works committee, said the numbers were "beyond our expectations."

Payment now required

People now have to pay to use the ION LRT. There is one fare for the Grand River Transit system, meaning people can take a bus and transfer onto a train.

Single trip tickets can be purchased from fare vending machines located at the stations, and they're good for unlimited rides for 90 minutes from the time the ticket is issued. There is also a multi-ride card with five to 15 rides.

Regular users can get an EasyGO fare card and reload it.

It costs $2.76 for a regular adult fare, $2.40 for elementary and high school students and seniors, while children four and under are free.

The ION LRT runs from 4:36 a.m. starting at the Research and Technology station in Waterloo until 1:45 a.m. and ends at Conestoga Mall.

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