ION Update February 2014 As 2014 progresses and we are closer to the start of ION construction, residents, business owners and stakeholders are encouraged to stay connected to our social media channels for the latest news and information on everything IONrelated in the Region of Waterloo. If you have questions or feedback on our update, please email [email protected]
ION In The News “I’ll never give up my car, others say – not realizing that investing in more transit, not less, is the best way to preserve their hassle-free drive and prevent gridlock.” Anthony Reinhart from his February 13 Communitech column
Staff to Recommend Preferred Team On March 4, staff will recommend a preferred team to Council to design, build, finance, operate and maintain Stage 1 ION light rail transit (LRT). The recommendation, which is an exciting and significant next step, follows a comprehensive evaluation process of each of the submissions from the three short-listed teams. The preferred team will be identified in a Council report that will be available on the ION website and social media channels shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, February 28. Planning and Works Committee will then discuss the report on Tuesday, March 4 at 3 p.m. Council will make a final decision on the preferred team on Wednesday, March 19. Stay connected to the ION website and social media channels for up-to-date information on the preferred team recommendation.
Transit Ridership on Track A progress report on the Regional Transportation Master Plan (RTMP) contains several interesting references to ION. The report, published on the Region’s website, indicates that transit ridership is already positioned to support ION, well in advance of the service launch in 2017. The projected year one daily ridership (number of rides per day) on ION is 25,000. Today, Route 7 and iXpress (which travel between Fairview Park Mall and Conestoga Mall) carry approximately 20,000 daily rides. The importance of active transportation in the Region was also highlighted in the report, as it confirmed that walking and cycling remain key modes of travel for residents within our community. Since 2006, cycling facilities on Regional roads (including on-road bike lanes,
multi-use trails, shared lanes and paved shoulders) have nearly doubled, from 149 km to 289 km. Region-wide, the goal is to increase the share of walking and cycling during the afternoon rush hour from 7.8% in 2006 to 12.0% in 2031. Many ION stops are located close to the Region’s vast multi-use trail network and connections with ION will help the Region achieve these active transportation goals. The report also recognized that residents will continue to use their car and a well functioning road network remains critical to the local economy and is a key part of the RTMP and ION.
ION In The News “It’s the largest infrastructure project in the history of the region with the potential for knock-on development benefits years after completion. No wonder the industry is anxiously awaiting news of Waterloo Region’s light rail transit system.” From latest 2014 edition of the Grand Valley Construction Association’s Journal, which ranked ION as the number one story in 2013
Small Business Workshop a Success More than 50 individuals from the Region’s small business sector signed up for February’s workshop that assisted local business owners in developing marketing plans ahead of ION construction. The workshop was part of a continuing series that sees the Region partner with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre. Further workshops will continue throughout 2014.
Ainslie Street Design Feedback In advance of ION aBRT, the Region of Waterloo, in partnership with the City of Cambridge, is planning improvements to the Ainslie Street Terminal. Residents are encouraged to join the Region and the City on Thursday February 27, 2014, from 58 p.m. at Cambridge City Hall to provide feedback on these planned improvements. Last summer, the Region r