Waterloo Region to make business case to extend LRT to Cambridge


The Region of Waterloo is planning to continue its work on extending the LRT into Cambridge, after a delay of almost two and a half years. The region initially said it would start work in October 2021 for the 4.5-billion dollar project. The region is expecting to hire a consultant and begin work this April on the business case for Stage 2 of the ION

Matthew O’Neil, manager of rapid transit co-ordination at the region, explained that there were a lot of reasons for the delay.“It mostly has to do with updating cost estimates, which are now triple the 2021 projected cost. Also, updating provincial population estimates for the region and a change of the proposed south terminal to Ainslie Street.”

If successful, the LRT will be updated to continue from Fairway station to downtown Cambridge, with seven new stations totalling approximately 17.5 kilometers. O’Neil mentioned that the business case will be looking at various alternatives including shorter routes with the same extension of distance. It will also look at an LRT system focused in the city of Cambridge.

Ling Yang, an architecture student at UW’s satellite Cambridge campus, expressed how students can feel disconnected from the main campus. “The current system to get to the main campus includes taking three buses, which can take up to two hours,” she said. She added that Cambridge students are unable to partake in any sports or clubs on main campus because it is not feasible to get there.