What will Waterloo Region think about our light rail decision in 2041?


What follows is a letter I wrote to the editor of The Waterloo Region Record that appears in this morning’s paper.

As a father of two young children, I am interested in what Waterloo Region will be like when they are my age. So I have closely followed The Record’s coverage of its rapid transit poll.

Seventy per cent of us recognize we can no longer manage growth by building and widening roads.

Almost half of those who prefer rapid buses do so because they are less expensive than light rail. One fifth of them believe light rail lacks flexibility.

Rapid buses are cheaper initially but not for long. In 15 – 20 years, they would be maxed out due to logistical considerations. Making a change to light rail at that point would be nearly impossible and more expensive than building it upfront. Going back solely to road building would also be more expensive. The additional cost now is worth paying.

Rapid buses are no more flexible than light rail. Both involve building infrastructure such as dedicated lanes that cannot be simply picked up and moved.

Regional Council faces a tough decision. I hope they choose to be strong leaders with a vision for the future and back light rail. More important than what voters might think in 2014 is what will people living in Waterloo Region in 2041 think.

Let’s get work started on the recommended Kitchener-Waterloo portion and fast track a connection to Cambridge.

Make your voice heard!

It’s important that you make your voice heard as part of the rapid transit debate. There are a couple opportunities tonight.

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