Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rapid Transit Update

I hear that Waterloo Region is expected to release its plan for Rapid Transit very soon... probably on Saturday, May 9. After that there should be public consultation of some sort - at the least, the ability of citizens to make delegations before Regional Council. Then sometime soon there will be a vote at Regional Council and that vote will decide what happens. On Council, the city of Waterloo has three reps and Kitchener has five. Since rapid transit appears to have been designed specifically to suit the needs of Kitchener, I assume that Kitchener councillors will vote for it. There are seven other councillors, including three from Cambridge; one each from North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich; and Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

My guess is that rapid transit is going to be very difficult to stop, and councillors are not going to vote against it unless citizens speak out and speak loudly.

As I've said before: If you don't know the details, rapid transit sounds like a great idea - a fast futuristic system that will help the environment by taking cars off the road. But when you look at the details, it turns out to be a poorly planned white elephant that will not serve Waterloo at all well and will drain resources from existing bus routes. If you care about transit in Waterloo, you should review the rapid transit plan very carefully.

I'm planning to speak to the issue, but I'll need to see the specifics before I can prepare anything. At this point all we have is hints of the Region's preferences on such details as route, stop location, and whether the transit will be bus or rail.

Here are my previous musings on the topic:

Rapid Transit: King Street North
Rapid Transit Part 1: Rapid Transit is Poised to Destroy Uptown Waterloo
Rapid Transit Part 2: First, Do No Harm
Rapid Transit Part 3: Whether the Concept Makes Sense in Waterloo Region
Rapid Transit Part 4: How Uptown Waterloo Could Fail


1 comment:

Bert said...

Yeah. It sounds good, but really, we have a great bus system. Implementing a whole new Rapid Transit System will cost an insane amount of money and like you said, will syphon money away from the buses.