GRT Spring Service Changes

The iON construction and the annual decline in ridership in the Spring mean that bus routes will be changing in late April, a change that will directly impact Waterloo Collegiate passengers.

Many students at Waterloo Collegiate use public transit weekly to get to and from WCI and to other parts of the city. The school is directly served by two transit agencies: Metrolinx (in the form of GO Transit), and Grand River Transit (GRT) – the regional public transit service. From WCI,  GO Transit operates the route 25 service to Mississauga while GRT operates numerous routes that serve much of Waterloo Region.

For those students who take public transit, GRT will be changing some of its services on April 25. The majority of these changes are made up of semi-permanent detours due to iON construction (the region’s rapid transit service, launching formally in the fall of 2017)  and reductions in bus headways. There is also a planned introduction of busPLUS route 77, a pilot route that will operate from the Boardwalk to New Hamburg.

A GRT bus operator wishing to remain anonymous said, “GRT reduces headways on high-frequency routes on an annual basis during the spring university terms because classes are reduced, and therefore, less capacity is required to serve students. If we [GRT] didn’t do this, then taxpayers would need to subsidize even more for public transit.” It is inefficient to run buses that would not see sufficient ridership during this period of time. Although less service can be a headache, students must accept that these service reductions have a purpose. 

I myself am a route 31 rider and will not see any service reductions that may affect my commute to WCI. However, my transportation to other parts of the city (such as the Boardwalk) will be greatly affected, leaving me to be in a state of frustration. This frustration is going to be shared by the hundreds of students at WCI that utilize public transit.

For those who do not take public transit, WCI is served directly by routes: 7, 8, 9 /13, 12, 29, 31, 91, 92, 200, 201 and 202. Of these twelve routes, nine of their schedules are affected because of the spring service changes. The following is a list of these nine routes, and how they will be changed as of April 25 (The full list of changes with schedules can be found at

Route 7 Mainline: Headways reduced.                                                        

  • Spur 7C headways are reduced to 15 minutes during the afternoon rush hour
  • Spur 7D headways are reduced to 30 minutes during the afternoon rush hours  
  • Removed any university shuttles  

Route 9 Lakeshore/13 Laurelwood: Headways reduced.                  

  • Trips with short turns at Laurelwood or McCormick removed          
  • Removed any university shuttles

Route 12 Conestoga Mall/Fairview Park Mall: Headways reduced.

  • Headways between WCI and Conestoga Mall are reduced to 30 minutes at all times    
  • Removed any university shuttles                                                                                                  

Route 29 Keats Way: Headways reduced.                                          

  • Removed extra morning trips between Keats Way and WCI

Route 92 University Loop: Service discontinued until fall of 2016      

  • Use the 31 or 201 when travelling down Columbia
  • Use the 202 when travelling down University     

Route 200 iXpress*^: Headways reduced.                                      

  • Headways reduced to every 15 minutes between 7:00 and 18:00      
  • Removed any university shuttles

Route 201 iXpress* Fischer-Hallman: Headways reduced during the midday.

  • Service is reduced to every 30 minutes between 9:05 and 14:30                  
  • Use route 31 when travelling down Columbia

Route 202 iXpress* University: Headways reduced during the midday,

  • Service is reduced to every 30 minutes between 9:21 and 14:53
  • The 2:38 bus will be removed till next fall, meaning that direct transfers to Route 5 will not be available


* iXpress is a rapid transit service that stops an average of ~650 metres apart

^ Route 200 iXpress is also known as iON BRT between Fairview Park Mall and the Ainslie Street Bus Terminal in Cambridge.