Region looks to public for LRT name
Waterloo Region’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) is going to be named soon, with three potential names that will be determined by the public: Trio, Arc and Ion.
Back in November, Waterloo Region was accepting requests from developers to determine who will design the $818-million project.
Thomas Schmidt, the commissioner of transportation and environmental services, is currently overseeing the report along with the Region of Waterloo officials.
The report still requires time and a plethora of supplementary discussions by both the public and the regional officials, but Schmidt ensures that the negotiations between the Region and Bombardier, the developer chosen to produce the trains, are still underway and are going smoothly.
“The process in the report is still being followed and Region staff continue negotiations with Bombardier,” Schmidt informed.
“Negotiations are going well and it is anticipated that an agreement will be reached shortly at which point a report will be presented to Regional Council for their approval.”
Now, the Region of Waterloo officials and Quarry Integrated Communications Inc. are working together to propose three names for the rapid transit system.
The names are not arbitrary, as they all have significant representation.
According to Sarah Harwood, vice-president of Quarry Communications Inc., Ion symbolizes the electrical charge, playing on the notion that the transit is always on the move. Arc is rounded like the proposed rapid transit route and represents a prolongation of transit in the region. Trio represents people working together with inventive and harmonious implications.
The name will be determined through a series of public consultations.
According to Darshpreet Bhatti, the director of rapid transit at the Region of Waterloo, this is significant since public involvement is essential to the program.
“We have a full public program that will be starting soon,” Bhatti said.
“We will be going to the public with the shortlist of the names, get their feedback and then we will go back to council with recommendations in terms of the preference from the public and then we will move forward with one.”
Three separate public conference sessions for the proposed names will be taking place before making a final decision, which is to be announced at the end of February.
Once the public has selected a name, construction is intended to begin next summer.
According to Bhatti, the Region’s use of public consultations is on schedule and the expected changes will be made as soon as they are legitimized.
“[The Waterloo Region officials] have always identified with this timeline,” Bhatti reassured.
“We have the public consultations coming up and we are on schedule for that, and I don’t see a reason why we wouldn’t implement this model in 2014.”
Harwood shared that the narrowing down of the three contending names came with its own prolonged development.
Harwood explained that there were more than three names that were considered.
“We had a foundation of work to inspire our thinking and then we moved into a brainstorming,” Harwood shared.
“We heard from citizens and from those at the spine of the community, delving into the history and characteristics that the people told us about the community that were collaborative. We ended up generating over 300 names.”
Harwood shared that Quarry Communications Inc. were able to narrow down the three names based on if the names were meaningful and able to work with the technology. Though the process of elimination brought them to the top three names, there are still other factors that must be considered.
“The explorations around font and logo colours and how the name will look on the station stop are a part of the contract that is needed to be done with the region,” Harwood concluded.