Statement by Paul Raun
In late November last year, I moved into a low-rise building in downtown Kitchener. Since then, on a regular basis, I ride the ION LRT, which started operating in Summer 2019. It provides a very comfortable and fairly rapid way of getting around Kitchener-Waterloo, making it convenient to travel across much of the twin cities to do shopping or to engage in longer distance walking(close to the twin cities' edges) and cycling. It has greatly reduced my need to travel by car within the twin cities. While the Niagara Escarpment wends its way through Hamilton, both Kitchener and Waterloo sit on a series of moraines with "the Alps" (the highest point)forming the twin cities' western edge, which makes for rather hilly terrain in various neighbourhoods such as Cedar Hill or Forest Hills or Westmount.
With the ION LRT already having operated for a few months, by Fall 2019, Waterloo Region experienced a great increase in transit ridership until COVID-19 struck in March 2020. With the vaccination rates having grown considerably over the Spring and Summer in Waterloo Region, along with measures for masking, ridership has risen notably again over the last few months.
I find it interesting that I have heard little, at most, from Hamilton City Council members, whether they have made the relatively short trip, 65 kilometres to the northwest at its furthest, to try out the ION LRT. You won't regret it.
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