Making Decisions That Matter - January 24, 2024

Posted on Wednesday January 24, 2024

With input from the community, Regional Council sets the direction for the Region as an organization and makes decisions that help improve the lives of Waterloo Region residents every day. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

New hybrid buses will give residents affordable, climate-friendly transit

Regional Council is investing $43.2 million in 36 new hybrid buses to grow and modernize Grand River Transit’s fleet. The buses will be ordered now and delivered in early 2025. 

These buses will help GRT expand service in response to record ridership, as well as replace older vehicles. All new GRT buses are either hybrid or electric, instead of diesel. This investment in public transit will help give people affordable, climate-friendly options to get around our community.

Read the full report.

Region will explore more sites to add affordable housing

More Region-owned sites will be considered for affordable housing projects, including parking lots, vacant properties, and redeveloped buildings.

Regional Council has directed staff to report back on possible locations and project concepts, including potential partners.

The move comes as council looks for innovative ways to address the affordable housing crisis in the Waterloo Region.

New transit station for Conestoga College

Regional Council has approved plans to build a new Grand River Transit station at Conestoga College’s Doon Campus in Kitchener. The new bus platforms and heated shelters will improve the customer experience for Conestoga students, staff and the neighbouring community.

Engineering work will begin this year, with construction to start in spring 2025. The project is set to finish at the end of 2026. Federal and provincial governments are funding 73 per cent of this project.

GRT will also offer a new universal transit pass (U-Pass) program for Conestoga College students, starting this fall. The U-Pass provides unlimited rides on GRT buses and ION trains at a reduced price as part of student fees.

Read the full report.

Moving forward with upgrades for Doon Heritage Village

Doon Heritage Village is moving forward with major site upgrades that will increase accessibility and ensure year-round programming for residents. The $1.5 million project will replace and expand the outdated electrical and water services throughout the Village. Power lines will move underground to improve the Village’s heritage appearance.

These upgrades mean heat in the buildings can switch from carbon-emitting oil and propane fuels to modern electric heat. The project will also enable wireless internet.

Doon Heritage Village is an open-air museum located at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum and shows life in the early 1900s.

Living history interpretation was paused in 2023, providing an opportunity to complete this important utility work and undertake community consultation to expand the stories shared at Doon Heritage Village in the future. The Village’s living history interpretation will resume in 2025.

Read the full report.

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