REGION OF WATERLOO — Keolis has announced the official launch of the first of the two phases of the ION Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the Region of Waterloo.
Keolis Grand River, part of the P3 team Linq Consortium responsible for the project, will operate the 16-kilometre LRT system for the next 10 years and provide maintenance for the next 30 years, noted a Keolis statement.
The trams will run on a dedicated rapid route along tracks isolated from regular traffic, except at intersections and road crossings.
The project is divided into two phases.
Phase two studies are underway.
The fleet of trams includes 14 accessible, low-floor, electric light rail vehicles manufactured by Bombardier in Ontario.
The trams, with a capacity of 200 passengers each, will operate every eight minutes during peak hours with an off-peak schedule of 15 minutes frequency.
As part of the launch celebrations, all Grand River Transit services, both trams and buses, are free to ride for 11 days from the kickoff to July 1.
Monthly pass holders will get a $10 discount.
“We are delighted to start operating the light rail for Region of Waterloo,” said Clement Michel, president and CEO of Keolis in North America.
Keolis, based in Paris, is 70 per cent owned by France’s SNCF national railway corporation and 30 per cent owned by the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.