GRT bus route changes affecting how students travel

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Students have returned to Waterloo region for the upcoming school year, causing increased use of Grand River Transit services throughout Kitchener-Waterloo.

Despite the recent implementation of the LRT many users of the GRT’s other services are unaware of the changes this caused to bus routes.

32 transit routes and programs were modified as a result of these changes, many of which directly impact the ways that Laurier students will be getting around.

The changes to impacted routes became effective on June 24, 2019, when most Laurier students are home for the summer, which has caused confusion among many students looking to utilize the same buses that they did in April.

Route 7, which provides service on King Street, is seeing some of the most significant changes: the lettered routes have been replaced by one uniform route for what the GRT states on its website is a more “streamlined” service. The 7 bus now runs on King St. only, meaning it will no longer provide service on University Avenue or Columbia Street as it had previously with route 7D.

The changes to impacted routes became effective on June 24, 2019, when most Laurier students are home for the summer, which has caused confusion among many students looking to utilize the same buses that they did in April.

Service on Columbia St. will now commence with Route 31, which will end at the University of Waterloo Station. This station, however, has yet to be built.

This means that in order to get from King St. to Lazaridis Hall and Laurier’s Mid Campus Drive students will need to transfer at King Street and University Avenue and take route 8 to get there.

Route 8 (Weber) has now changed course slightly as well – it is providing its usual service through Weber to University, but will now become Route 12 between Albert St. and the University of Waterloo.

Route 19 (Hazel) will still service Hazel Street as it has before, but it has been altered to travel to the St. Jacob’s farmers’ market and will become Route 30 at the University of Waterloo Station that is in the works.

Along with making modifications to existing routes, the GRT has cancelled a number of routes and special bus programs geared towards high school students in the region.

Both the 91 Late Night Loop and 92 University Loop have been cancelled and will have their previous routes overtaken by the rerouting of other routes under the updated plan.

Students traveling down the King Street area late at night will now need to rethink their plans to account for these changes and avoid being left without transit as service ceases each evening.

It is also important to note that many bus stops have been removed, relocated or renamed in the process of the new system implementation. Neither Apple Maps or Google Maps’ transit planning services have fully accounted for these changes, so the best place to check for updates on the new stops, routes and schedule changes that may impact the ways that students travel around KW is the GRT website.

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