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Special event bus rides can introduce people to public transit


What follows is a slightly modified version of a letter I sent to the editor of the Kitchener Post.

Kitchener - No event parking sign

Signs like this one are on the streets that surround Victoria Park whenever a major festival is held there. I understand why they are there. Fortunately, an idea has surfaced that could help to address parking for large festivals at the park. An idea that could also help to eliminate the need to use these signs on residential streets surrounding the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

I love Geoff Lorentz’s idea of using free rides to festivals as an incentive to try GRT and reduce parking demands!

I’d suggest that any festival with an attendance over a certain threshold such as for attendance should qualify as long as there’s at least one per city. I think an argument can be made that this incentive is a benefit to all cities no matter where the festival is held especially if it helps paid increase transit use.

I’d include the following festivals:

  • Mill Race Folk Festival
  • Waterloo Jazz Festival
  • Busker Festival
  • Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival
  • Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival
  • Kitchener Blues Festival
  • Downtown Kitchener Ribs & Craft Beer Show
  • Word on the Street

Essentially my list includes large events with significant attendance and limited parking.

Let’s look at free rides to the Aud

I love Lorentz’s idea because it is in sync with my recommendation to offer free rides to events at the Auditorium (especially Rangers games) to ticket holders. I see the LRT as a long term solution to addressing parking on residential streets for these events – a practice which may increase with the expanded arena. But free rides now will help to build up the habit of making transit people’s choice. I see shuttles from iXpress routes and terminals as a part of the solution too. More detail on these ideas can be found in this previous post.

I’m hoping that it can be arranged for this to be considered by Region of Waterloo staff at the same time as the festival proposal–unless the Rangers and the City of Kitchener have already arranged for GRT to be a significant part of the solution to the Auditorium’s parking needs.

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2 comments on “Special event bus rides can introduce people to public transit

  1. Great idea, Geoff and James! It’s time for people to get on the bus!!!

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