ION Update - Region of Waterloo Rapid Transit

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mock-up of the ION light rail transit (LRT) vehicle ... Council unveiled the first ION-branded sign in. June at the ...

ION Update August 2014

ION was also part of the Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival in July where more than 500 residents visited the ION booth near the main stage. ION staff were on-site to answer questions, hand out route maps and provide rapid transit information during the annual jazz celebration. Including these two events, ION staff have now reached more than 8,400 residents through community outreach events and activities this year. These events and activities include presentations to neighbourhood associations, schools and businesses as well as participation at numerous community events.

ION community outreach An amazing 4,279 people toured the 60-foot mock-up of the ION light rail transit (LRT) vehicle when it returned to Waterloo Region in July as part of the Days of #KW Awesome. There were lots of happy faces on-board as residents had an opportunity to learn more about ION and even sit in the driver’s seat. The event provided residents with a chance to learn more about the Region’s other transportation services, including Grand River Transit (GRT), and ongoing projects such as the King/Victoria Transit Hub, the Community Building Strategy and the Regional Transportation Master Plan.

To see more images from the ION vehicle’s return to Waterloo Region, visit this link http://bit.ly/1ufSTVM

Community Building Strategy wins prestigious award

important tool that will help us realize the opportunities that will come with the investment we are making in rapid transit,” said Rob Horne, Commissioner of Planning, Housing and Community Services at the Region. In the official announcement of the award, the jury said the CBS “brings forth a framework to ensure a successful transportation and mobility strategy and adjacent enjoyable and livable communities as part of a comprehensive urban corridor development strategy.” For more on the Community Building Strategy see this link http://centraltransitcorridor.ca/

The Community Building Strategy has received a prestigious National Urban Design Award from the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. In partnership with the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the award recognizes “individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to the quality of life in our Canadian cities and their sustainability.” The Region of Waterloo, collaborating with the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, developed the Community Building Strategy as an investment and development plan to help identify and manage the opportunities that are expected with ION. “The Community Building Strategy is a unique plan – one of only a few in North America – and this award recognizes that it is going to be an

ION aBRT update ION aBRT construction begins soon with service scheduled to commence in the spring of 2015. ION aBRT is the first step towards bringing LRT to Cambridge. Stage 2 ION LRT will see the Region convert the aBRT route to LRT, creating a 37 kilometre system of 23 stops between Cambridge and Waterloo. ION aBRT includes a 17 kilometre route featuring vehicles running in mixed traffic. The service allows consistent and convenient travel by using features such as transit signal priority, bus bypass shoulders, queue jumps and limited stops. ION aBRT stops will be located at the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal (where LRT and aBRT meet), Sportsworld and on Hespeler at Pinebush/Eagle, Cambridge Centre Mall, Can-

Amera, the Delta and the Ainslie Street transit terminal.

#IONtour photo contest continues throughout summer Launched in June and continuing through earlySeptember, the #IONtour photo contest asks residents to take a cardboard ION train on vacation or when they visit family and friends this summer. Simply snap a photo of the train in an exciting or unusual location, such as the Confederation Bridge, (pictured here), and you could win a ride on the first ION train when service begins in 2017. Cardboard trains can be picked up at Regional Headquarters in Kitchener, or at City Halls in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

Future ION stops Signs that identify where the ION stops will be located in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo have now been placed along the 36-kilometre corridor. The signs help residents identify where the ION aBRT and LRT service will run between the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge and the Conestoga Mall transit terminal in Waterloo. Council unveiled the first ION-branded sign in June at the corner of King and Victoria Streets in Kitchener. The King/Victoria stop provides an important transfer point on the ION corridor, connecting ION with local GRT services, GO Transit and VIA Rail, while serving as a gateway to Downtown Kitchener. There is more than $330 million worth of private investment happening near this ION stop, thanks to Perimeter, Momentum and the Zehr Group.

For more info, visit http://on.fb.me/1m31Xrd Watch for each of the ION stops as you travel throughout Waterloo Region.

ION spotlight: Borden Located on Charles, just west of Borden, this ION stop provides an important transit connection with links to GRT and future iXpress services along Ottawa. The ION route splits at this stop with northbound trains running along Charles Street towards the Cedar stop and southbound trains running along Borden towards the stop at Mill. Many services and businesses are within walking distance of Borden, such as Sherwood Music on Ottawa, Tim Hortons on Charles and City Café Bakery on Ottawa. Sports facilities such as CrossFit Kitchener and Grand River Rocks are also accessible from Borden, as is the popular Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The area surrounding Borden presents a great potential for development. Encouraging development in and around the region’s urban centres will limit urban sprawl and protect the farmland surrounding Waterloo Region, which is one of the fundamental goals of ION.

About ION ION, the Region of Waterloo's rapid transit service, which was approved by Council in June 2011, is a visionary plan that will help shape the community for the future by bringing LRT to the region in two stages. Stage 1, set to open in 2017, includes a 19kilometre LRT route from the Conestoga Mall transit terminal in Waterloo to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener, with stops at 16 destinations including the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, UpTown Waterloo, Grand River Hospital, King/Victoria transit hub and Downtown Kitchener. Stage 1 also features a 17-kilometre route of aBRT from the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge to the Fairview Park Mall transit terminal in Kitchener. aBRT construction is already underway and service will begin in the spring of 2015. Stage 2 ION will see the Region convert the aBRT line to LRT, creating a seamless 37kilometre ION route with 23 stops between Cambridge and Waterloo.