Why Rapid Transit?
Waterloo Region is expected to grow by more than 200,000 residents and 80,000 jobs by 2031. In June 2003, Regional Council unanimously adopted the Regional Growth Management Strategy (RGMS) that identifies where, when and how this residential and employment growth will be accommodated. Planning studies done during the development of the RGMS found that continuing with road expansions alone was not a realistic or affordable option to manage growth. If the Region continued with current trends of auto use, the road network would need to expand by at least 500 additional lane-kilometres of traffic, costing over 1.4 billion dollars.
Instead, rapid transit was identified as a crucial component in providing greater transportation choice, moving people, managing growth, and facilitating intensification and reurbanization in our urban areas. A high-quality rapid transit system is vital for the Region to evolve into a more compact urban form, helping to manage sprawl and protecting sensitive environmental landscapes and high quality farmlands from urban encroachment. This is also consistent with the Province of Ontario's mandated approach to growth management in the Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.