Plans for 202 bus that skip University of Waterloo's transit hub a problem for commuters, advocates say

The 202 University iXpress won't connect with the planned University of Waterloo Transit Plaza. Local transit advocates say that's a mistake.

Transit advocates say that may impact ridership

The Region is not planning to connect its 202 iXpress bus to a planned transit plaza adjacent to the university's light rail stop.

Local transit advocates say not linking the region's 202 iXpress bus route to a proposed transit plaza at the University of Waterloo is a missed connection. 

The region is planning a transit plaza adjacent to the university's light rail stop, which will be used by both GO Transit and Grand River Transit.

The university wants GRT to limit buses in the area, due to concerns about safety on Ring Road. 

The 202, popular with students and commuters, is not scheduled to make the stop. 

"Unfortunately, what we're seeing is that what we think is the most important route, certainly in the city of Waterloo, possibly between Waterloo and Kitchener, is being left off the table," said Chris Klein, a transit and active transportation advocate with Tri-Cities Transport Action Group (TriTAG).

Under the proposed plan, which keeps the 202 on University Ave., the closest ION stops will be about 600 m away, Klein said. 

He fears that could impact ridership. 

"There's a lot of people who live along that corridor," he said. "They're going to look at it and basically say, I should be able to get from this bus to this train."

University, region 'have had different ideas'

Local transit planners had also envisioned the two routes connecting. 

"I think we've been pretty transparent with all folks that our preference would be that the 202 travel and connect at the proposed UW transit plaza road," said John Cicuttin, manager of transit development with GRT.

No final decision has been made about the transport plaza, and GRT has just finished seeking public input.

Despite several attempts from CBC News, no one from the University of Waterloo was made available for an interview.

A spokesperson provided this statement via email: "The university and the region have had different ideas of where the various stops should be located. We continue to work with GRT and the region on trying to identify the best ways to link transit for the campus and broader community." 

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