Transportation hub to accompany rapid transit

(Graphic by Steph Truong)

Kitchener bus stops are about to get a serious upgrade. Developers for the city are currently working to plan a large transportation hub, which will be located on a plot of land at the corner of *Victoria and King Streets, and act as a core transit centre for buses, Light Rail Transit (LRT), GO trains and VIA rail.

Said Kevin Eby, director of community planning, “There could be an awful lot of activity on a small piece of land.”

Eby explained that they are looking into various possible ways to maximize the potential of the space, possibly including commercial, residential and office space, in addition to access to transit.

“What we’re doing is getting the broad envelope of planning permissions,” he explained. “What are the range of uses that we could have on the site and what are the maximum densities that we could get on the site?”

While planners are aware of the different transport aspects they need to integrate, urban planning for the private sector of the hub is largely open-ended at this stage, with various ideas about how to use the space being considered.

A market scoping feasibility study is also being undertaken to “develop a business case for the site,” which will help to evaluate private interest in development.

An open house was held last Thursday to help provide the public with some insight on the project and to collect feedback. Construction of LRT will begin in 2014 and is a huge developmental endeavour.

The transportation hub, which will help to accommodate rapid transit services, involves many complex factors which the community may not be aware of.

“We just wanted to gather if people were interested, to make sure that they understood the full range of things going on,” Eby commented. “I was quite happy with the outcome of it.”

Any additional feedback for the initial stages should be directed toward the city of Kitchener by Oct. 19, with more public consultation expected to occur in the later stages of development.


* EDIT: October 5th, 2012

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