A Region of Waterloo, Ontario municipality council has approved a proposed light rail transit (LRT) system. An important part of the Region’s plan to accommodate population and employment growth over the next 20 years, the LRT will provide an alternative transportation choice for residents.
“This vote marks a truly historic and defining moment for the future of Waterloo Region,” said Jim Wideman, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Works committee in a press release. “The leadership we have taken tonight will be transformational to our community as we prepare for tremendous growth over the next two decades.”
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Approving funding for the project, the regional council expects a tax rate increase of 1.2 per cent annually from 2012 to 2018. The Region has been working to provide extensive public improvement for this project since 2006. This process included 150 outreach events.
“Over the last 10 years, the rapid transit team has put in a huge amount of work to provide the basis for tonight’s landmark decision," said Mike Murray, Chief Administrative Officer. “Tonight’s decision is one more critical element in the Region’s integrated approach to planning for a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable community. We look forward to working with the area municipalities, and all our community partners, as we proceed with the implementation of this transformational project.”
The first stage of the project is estimated to begin operations by 2017.