Keolis launched the Waterloo Region’s new ION Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Ontario, Canada. The system will serve the residents and visitors of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, as well as surrounding rural municipalities.
As part of the GrandLinq Consortium, Keolis Grand River — Keolis’ local subsidiary — is responsible for approximately 10 miles of light rail line operations for the next 10 years, and maintenance for the next 30 years. The contract, which was awarded in May 2014, is under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and is Keolis’ first light rail operation in North America.
The ION LRT is transformative for the Region of Waterloo, which is the fourth largest community in Ontario with an existing population of over half a million. The network is funded by all three levels of government and fully integrated within the Region of Waterloo’s existing public transport service, Grand River Transit (GRT). The transport options, for which just one fare applies, will be flexible and inclusive as the population grows.
The light rail is core to the Region's ambitious master plan for sustainable mobility to create a one urban area, from the three cities, and to increase the attractiveness of the Technological Triangle of Canada.
The trams will run on a dedicated rapid route along tracks isolated from regular traffic, except at intersections and road crossings. The project is divided into two phases. Phase 2 studies are underway.