Today, Grand River Transit began public consultations on its 2015 service changes. They include the next phase of grid-based network restructuring with a new cross-town iXpress route, as well as the rationalization of Route 7 mainline service that we have long advocated for. We will have more analysis of these changes later, but we’ll start with a brief overview and encourage you to attend the consultations.
Some of the notable Kitchener network changes include a new Highland-Victoria iXpress route, modifying Route 20 to be a continuous crosstown route on Victoria and Frederick, and one option for launching part of the Ottawa iXpress several years earlier than planned.
GRT had planned to reconsider Route 7 after the launch of ION, but they are moving this change up earlier. One of the challenges of the current design is that each of the Route 7 branches is scheduled independently, making consistent headways very challenging, especially if there are delays. With the construction of ION on King Street starting in 2015, a move to a single, headway-scheduled service would allow GRT to provide more reliable and predictable service.
We do have some ideas for what might be worth considering for the 2015 plans:
- Adding stops at Queen/Courtland and Victoria/Frederick to the 204 iXpress
- Better serving St. Mary’s Hospital with the 204 iXpress
- Adding a stop of the iXpress 202 at King/University to allow transfers with the consolidated Route 7
And while the Route 7 restructuring is badly needed, GRT must be clearer about what service levels the consolidated Route 7, the upgraded iXpress 200, and University Loop will have to compensate for the removal of the branches.
That said, we are thrilled to see GRT continue to add cross-town iXpress service and to straighten out route networks.
Have your say! Attend the public consultation sessions or fill out GRT’s online comment form available on the consultation page alongside the detailed information and maps. Location and schedule are also in our public meeting calendar in the sidebar.