Kitchener-Waterloo

Transit maven reviews GRT's new bus routes

Grand River Transit's bus schedule got a major overhaul this week, with almost a dozen routes affected.

David Sej predicts Route 1 will move to all-day 15-minute service

Frequent rider David Sej says he was surprised with how full the new Route 1 Queen-River bus was on its first day of service, and predicts the line will move to all-day 15 minute service.
Grand River Transit's bus schedule got a major overhaul this week, with almost a dozen routes affected. 

"This change in particular involves probably the most routes ever that we've impacted," John Cicuttin, manager of transit development, told CBC News. 

The new schedule eliminates five lines — the 15, 17, 19, 24 and 25 — and incorporates those areas into the existing routes 1, 2 and 20.

It also adds two new routes: the iXpress 204 and 34 Bingemans.

And while many Waterloo Region residents spent their Labour Days at home, or basking in the hot weather, David Sej rode the new routes.

He wrote up this review for the GRT Info Page on Facebook:

David Sej says he spent his Labour Day testing out the fall Grand River Transit schedule, and wrote up this review of the new routes (Facebook)

In an interview with the CBC, Sej said overall he's happy with the new schedule and that while it might be convenient to have door-to-door bus service, more direct routes make more sense. 

Sej also said he was surprised how full the new Route 1 Queen-River bus was on its first day of service. 

He predicts the line will move to all-day 15-minute service. Currently it runs every 30 minutes, and every 15 minutes during peak periods. 

But not all transit users are thrilled with the changes.

In an email to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, Dawn Parker writes that people who live north and west of Victoria street have "completely lost our pedestrian access to downtown Kitchener" due to ION construction. 

And, she says, now the route changes have limited her transit options. 

"Combined with bus stop changes due to construction it is now over a [kilometre] walk to an [iXpress] whereas before we had 600 metre access. And [it] is 600 metres to 1 km to the route seven when before it was 200-600 metres. This vastly increases commute times and creates serious issues for the mobility impaired. There must be a solution that would help, for instance put in an [iXpress] stop at Weber and Wellington or run a seven down Duke and Waterloo streets. Or start an express bus along Weber."

Overall, Grand River Transit says 10 buses were added to peak service hours and the changes represent a five per cent increase in service, when compared to the fall 2014 schedule. 

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