Stage 2 ION light-rail project receives provincial clearance

June 22, 2021
The move allows the Region of Waterloo to seek provincial and federal funding for the 11.18-mile light-rail project.

The government of Ontario has approved the Transit Project Assessment for the Stage 2 ION light-rail project in the Region of Waterloo, clearing the way for the municipality to seek funding from provincial and federal sources.

“We’re thrilled to be able to proceed with delivering Stage 2 of ION light-rail transit to residents in Waterloo Region,” said Karen Redman, Regional chair of the Region of Waterloo. “Stage 1 has been an incredible success getting people to where they need to go in a fast, reliable and affordable way. We’re committed to providing this much-needed service to community members in Cambridge.”

Stage 1 ION LRT opened to the public on June 21, 2019, and has carried millions of riders along 19 kilometers (11.8 miles) of light rail with 19 stations between Conestoga Station in Waterloo to Fairway Station in Kitchener.

Stage 2 ION will nearly double the number of light-rail miles and link Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge through 18 kilometers (11.18 miles) of light rail with eight stations.

By 2051, Waterloo Region’s population is expected to reach more than 900,000 residents.

“The city of Cambridge is excited about this milestone that brings us closer to seeing rapid transit in our community,” said Mayor of Cambridge, Ontario, Kathryn McGarry. “ION will give Cambridge residents a convenient and sustainable alternative to travelling by car and move people seamlessly not only between the other two urban centers, but to the many businesses and amenities within our own community. When finished, ION will help create an even more connected and inclusive Waterloo Region.”

Along with providing a safe mode of transportation for the growing community, light rail has also fostered local economic development, with more than C$3.5 billion (US$2.83 billion) in investment in the central transit corridor.

“We’re creating a world-class community that’s sustainable, inclusive and positioned for the future,” added Chair Redman. “Stage 2 of light-rail transit will continue to make Waterloo Region the ideal place to live, work and play.”

About the Author

Mass Transit Staff Report

Stories under this byline were produced through a team effort by the editorial staff of Mass Transit. 

To learn more about our team, click here

If you have a story idea, let us know by emailing [email protected]. Please review our contributor guidelines found here