ION the way!

Posted on Wednesday July 10, 2013

Council approves deal with Metrolinx and Bombardier to purchase 14 light rail transit vehicles

Waterloo Region – It’s official! Regional Council has approved an agreement with Metrolinx and Bombardier for the purchase of 14 light rail vehicles (LRV) to implement Stage 1 of ION, the Region of Waterloo’s rapid transit service.

“The purchase of light rail vehicles for ION is a significant milestone,” said Jim Wideman, Regional Councillor and Chair of the Planning and Works Committee. “The vehicles symbolize the considerable progress being made to bring this new service to residents in Waterloo Region.”

In June 2012, Regional Council directed staff to negotiate with Metrolinx for participation in the Metrolinx-lead procurement of LRVs from Bombardier. Joint procurement and collaboration between agencies is a common practice when making small vehicle orders.

“Bombardier is proud to be part of this very important expansion of public transit in Ontario by offering rail transportation as a solution for increasing mobility, reducing congestion, and benefiting the regional economy.” said René Lalande, Vice-President Bombardier Transportation North America. “We greatly appreciate the confidence the Region of Waterloo has placed in us as this order further solidifies our presence in Ontario.”

The 100 per cent low floor LRV fleet will be the first of its kind in North America and is fully accessible. The vehicle includes doors on both sides, 56 fixed seats and can hold more than 200 people.

Production of the ION LRVs will begin in 2014 with the first vehicle delivered to Waterloo Region in summer 2016. The final vehicle will arrive in December 2016.

Two events to introduce the LRV to the community are scheduled. Event details include:

When: Friday, July 12, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

What: Media event tounveil the Bombardier LRV

Who: Members of Regional Council; Rene Lalande, Vice-President, Bombardier Transportation North America

Where: Regional Headquarters,150 Frederick Street, Kitchener

Photo Op: Media will have an opportunity to tour the LRV

 

When: Saturday, July 13, 2013, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What: Residents are invited to tour the LRV and new iXpress bus. Visitors can have their photo taken in the LRV driver’s seat. There will also be displays for an opportunity to learn about the exciting transit initiatives shaping the future of Waterloo Region.

Who: Waterloo Region residents and community stakeholders

Where: Regional Headquarters,150 Frederick Street, Kitchener

ION will fundamentally shape our community for the future. It will help move people, limit sprawl, encourage intensification and protect the environment. ION will be implemented in two stages. Stage 1 features a 19 kilometre light rail transit (LRT) route from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener. It also includes a 17 kilometre route of adapted Bus Rapid Transit (aBRT) from Fairview Park Mall to the Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge. The aBRT service is expected to begin operating in late-2014 or early-2015. Stage 2 will convert the aBRT line to LRT, creating a seamless 37 kilometre system for ION with 23 stations between Cambridge and Waterloo.

ION will provide a frequent, reliable and convenient way for residents to travel throughout the community. The Region is focused on identifying investment opportunities that will enhance mobility, create unique, high-quality urban places and strengthen employment opportunities within the community.

All three levels of government have announced funding commitments for Stage 1 of ION.

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For more information please contact:

Kimberly Moser, Manager, Rapid Transit Community Relations, Phone: 519-575-4757, ext. 3461 

Cell: 519-501-6266, kmoser@regionofwaterloo.ca

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