Bus upon a time in Waterloo

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By Lubaba Hoque

Whether you are leaving your beloved car with your parents, are new to KW bussing or haven’t been on a bus before, fear not grasshopper because I’m about to lay out the 411 on life as a bussing student.

The basics

First of all, the transit system in Waterloo is called, Grand River Transit, more commonly known as the GRT.

It also links the ‘Loo, Kitchener and Cambridge together. In order to access any GRT bus, you’ll need to tap your WatCard as you enter.

Aside from this, I find that having a set of earbuds or headphones handy make the commute to campus a lot nicer.

It’s the perfect tool to kill time, block out unnecessarily loud neighbours, and avoid socializing.

In case you’re a keener, bus rides are actually a great space to catch up on course readings.

Not all busses run as often, or run late into the evening hours or weekends. Routes can also change during holidays or storms.

If you ever feel uncertain about your commute, you can check the GRT app or Google Maps. On the, ‘off’ chance you’re at a bus stop and been stuck waiting for too long, you can text the bus stop number (located on the bus stop sign in the bottom corner) to 57555 or call 519-575-7555 to find out the times for bus departures.

Bus drivers are very understanding and great resources.

Ask them questions if you ever need any help. They are also invested in your safety, if you’re bussing at night and need to be dropped off closer to home, let your driver know, they’ll try their best to accommodate.

Between all the construction that occurs in city of Waterloo and on campus, these bus routes will change frequently.

Usually if this happens, you will find a poster taped to your bus sign indicating to you where the bus stop has been relocated.

If you’re a bit more of a risk taker and hoping to explore the city before classes start, the best tip I have for you is to participate in some spontaneous bussing.

With your WatCard handy, you can travel a long way. If you have the time, hop on a random route and see where it takes you.

GRT bus trickery is real kids, you’re not imagining it

While it might feel overwhelming at first to know the difference between 7, 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E, and 7F, once you’ve mastered these buses you have officially achieved super saiyan status.

It’s worth noting, the 7D and the 7E will travel into campus. 7E travels by the Optometry building and Matthews Hall before dropping you off at DC. While the 7D stops will pass by both Environment 3 and Needles Hall before dropping you off by Columbia near the Optometry building.

Late night?

If you are on campus late and need a safe way to get home, see if you can take route 91. Starting in September, the 91 bus, also known as the Late Night Loop will be available between 12:30 a.m. until 3 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

This bus travels through UW and Laurier neighbourhoods and can take you as far as Charles Street Terminal.

IXpress

In case you’re trying to shave some time off your commute, the iXpress buses are usually your best bet. On campus, you can find the 200, 201 and 202.

Eventually all of these can take you to Conestoga Mall.

These busses allow you travel throughout KW and Cambridge by passing through major destinations. The bus stops for the iXpress will also feature real-time digital projectors.