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Ion Light Rail (Kitchener-Waterloo) & King/Victoria Transit Terminal

NoahB

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If this design is akin to a taj mahal to the GTA then we deserve all the blue glass boxes in downtown and beyond...
 

Northern Light

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If this design is akin to a taj mahal to the GTA then we deserve all the blue glass boxes in downtown and beyond...
Better the Taj Mahal; than the Garage Mahal!

****

I'm all in favour of spending money on attractive stations, with nice, climate-controlled waiting areas, and retail services available.

I'll grant, without hesitation, that good service is more important; but I see no reason we ought not to expect both.

I am, however, firmly opposed to even one more parking garage that doesn't charge full market price; and at the very least, a sum sufficient to recover the cost of its operation, and construction over 15 years.
 
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AndreWW

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This looks really good! I love the bike integration - loads of parking, and even a ramp from Waterloo Street to the platform! I feel like the plaza could potentially just become a big empty space, but hopefully the area will be busy enough to prevent that. I hope they find a good use for the Rumpel Felt building and part (or all) of the parking lot.

Edit: Also, the fall 2022 completion date seems really soon... I kind of doubt they'll make it but it would be cool if they did.
 

Northern Light

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Hey, there's a ton of renders there.........and here, they are: (from: https://www.engagewr.ca/king-victoria-transit-hub)

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I found @W. K. Lis ' Water Feature:

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This slide is entitled multi-use trail link..............looks suspiciously like a bus terminal to me......

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This one I like, but it amuses me........people sitting down on the stairs in the midst of a station......

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E•MO•TION

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I wish Metrolinx quit dragging their feet on the Breslau park and ride lot, which would make the lack of parking at this facility a non issue. The expansion of train service over the years along with the lack of early morning GRT service has significantly increased demand for parking, with the ~50 space lot at the VIA Station at capacity by 6 AM and the informal lot beside the Rumpel Felt reaching capacity later in the morning. Granted, these were observations made prior to the pandemic and I'm quite curious to see how work from home culture influences demand for parking and transit service in general in the medium to long-term.

Speaking of the Rumpel Felt, it still irks me that it was retained but no plans have been made to directly integrate it with the hub. To me it sticks out like a sore thumb. It's an ugly building that holds little cultural or historical value, and I've always maintained that it should've been torn down.
 
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Northern Light

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I wish Metrolinx quit dragging their feet on the Breslau park and ride lot, which would make the lack of parking at this facility a non issue. The expansion of train service over the years along with the lack of early morning GRT service has significantly increased demand for parking, with the ~50 space lot at the VIA Station at capacity by 6 AM and the informal lot beside the Rumpel Felt reaching capacity later in the morning. Granted, these were observations made prior to the pandemic and I'm quite curious to see how work from home culture influences demand for parking and transit service in general in the medium to long-term.

Speaking of the Rumpel Felt, it still irks me that it was retained but no plans have been made to directly integrate it with the hub. To me it sticks out like a sore thumb. It's an ugly building that holds little cultural or historical value, and I've always maintained that it should've been torn down.
Just had quick glance at the schedules for GRT.

Interesting to note that ION is up and running early on weekdays and serving Central Station by 5am; but a cursory look at the IExpress services suggests that few, if any, feeder routes start before 6am.

I think they would be well served to look at Origin-Destination mapping for GO customers and get the routes that would be most likely to feed passengers up and running earlier.

This would be a better priority vs more park n'ride.

I realize you prioritize this (we all have our preferences); but to me a focus on park n'ride is money taken away from service, from lower fares, from walkable, bikeable communities.

I'm not opposed to parking per se; but I think it should be the least prioritized option, particularly where it facilitates sprawl; and that charging for it is terribly important so that $$ aren't diverted away from other purposes just to pave over land.
 
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Garuda

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This looks really good! I love the bike integration - loads of parking, and even a ramp from Waterloo Street to the platform! I feel like the plaza could potentially just become a big empty space, but hopefully the area will be busy enough to prevent that. I hope they find a good use for the Rumpel Felt building and part (or all) of the parking lot.

Edit: Also, the fall 2022 completion date seems really soon... I kind of doubt they'll make it but it would be cool if they did.
Same here. I highly doubt construction will start next spring. I hope they leave space for future platforms. That is more than the 2 proposed. This station can become a hub for SW Ontario and space for future platforms need to be included.
 

alexanderglista

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I like that this design really makes Kitchener Central seem like a Central station. It makes it seem like you’re arriving in a city, not a town. I hope that they go full steam ahead with building this station. Next up, I think that Waterloo Region needs to really push to get Breslau GO built. As sad as this makes me feel, an abundance of parking would help boost ridership numbers in the AM and PM rush.

Same here. I highly doubt construction will start next spring. I hope they leave space for future platforms. That is more than the 2 proposed. This station can become a hub for SW Ontario and space for future platforms need to be included.
By looking at maps, it seems like they could squeeze in a 3rd track pretty easily. Which is good because I do think that more capacity will be needed over the next 15 years.
 

drum118

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The bridge beside VIA/GO current station was built for 3 tracks and could easy hold 4 tracks.

If I remember correctly, King Bridge will support 3 tracks for sure and possible 4 depending on platforms. One side and centre platform is what I can recalled and could have a 2nd side platform..

Good thing Metrolinx not calling all the shots for this new terminal as it would be scale back from the current design.
 

Garuda

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I like that this design really makes Kitchener Central seem like a Central station. It makes it seem like you’re arriving in a city, not a town. I hope that they go full steam ahead with building this station. Next up, I think that Waterloo Region needs to really push to get Breslau GO built. As sad as this makes me feel, an abundance of parking would help boost ridership numbers in the AM and PM rush.



By looking at maps, it seems like they could squeeze in a 3rd track pretty easily. Which is good because I do think that more capacity will be needed over the next 15 years.
I’d like to see at least 4.
You can also have a platform that does not cross King St. It would be reserved for Toronto only runs. Similar to Pickering Station’s 3rd platform.

I agree on the parking - there’s too much and Breslau should be built ASAP as the main park & ride.
 

timio

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Just had quick glance at the schedules for GRT.

Interesting to note that ION is up and running early on weekdays and serving Central Station by 5am; but a cursory look at the IExpress services suggests that few, if any, feeder routes start before 6am.

I think they would be well served to look at Origin-Destination mapping for GO customers and get the routes that would be most likely to feed passengers up and running earlier.
There was an iXpress that was scheduled to arrive just in time for the 6:05 GO express, but I typically found myself running from the stop to the train with generally less than 30 seconds to spare. GRT has since removed this trip.
 

tmlittle

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Just had quick glance at the schedules for GRT.

Interesting to note that ION is up and running early on weekdays and serving Central Station by 5am; but a cursory look at the IExpress services suggests that few, if any, feeder routes start before 6am.

I think they would be well served to look at Origin-Destination mapping for GO customers and get the routes that would be most likely to feed passengers up and running earlier.

This would be a better priority vs more park n'ride.

I realize you prioritize this (we all have our preferences); but to me a focus on park n'ride is money taken away from service, from lower fares, from walkable, bikeable communities.

I'm not opposed to parking per se; but I think it should be the least prioritized option, particularly where it facilitates sprawl; and that charging for it is terribly important so that $$ aren't diverted away from other purposes just to pave over land.
I used to be a daily early-morning commuter on GRT and I can safely say that if the ION had been around then, it would have made a big difference. The system has massively improved in the past few years, but (for example) I used to have to take the 7 (a local) rather than the 200 iXpress because the 7 started running earlier, even though they had a near-100% route overlap and iXpress services are more commuter-oriented. I once had to take an Uber to work due to missing the bus and had a conversation with the driver who told me that 5-7am was one of his most busy periods because of people travelling to the GO station. This was before the extra midday GO trips were added, but I imagine that hasn't really changed aside from COVID.

If I was a daily GO commuter who took local transit post-King/Victoria, I'd want to live along the ION route (an expensive and challenging proposition nowadays with rents skyrocketing), broadly along King (to take the 7), possibly along Weber (to take the 8), maybe somewhere along the 6 route like up Lancaster, or, if I was more suburban, something like the 204 iXpress, which is the one that goes along Victoria. Currently its earliest westbound and eastbound trips are 6:15 and 6:24 respectively, getting to Central at 6:41 and 6:39. The Region is sinking a bunch of money into redeveloping Victoria along the east end toward Highway 7 to make it feel less like a "this is America" image with 5 gas stations and a Burger King, including a multi-use trail and plans for better integration with the surrounding neighbourhoods. There are also changes going on with the city to introduce more flexible zoning to some big commercial/industrial parcels near there that would allow residential or mixed-use, with mixed-use clearly favoured by the city. Victoria and University are the two corridors which are identified as potential routes for ION Line 2 (whatever decade/century that happens) and they clearly want to stimulate ridership to make that happen. The 204 didn't even exist a few years ago! But here we have a situation where a crosstown express bus which would be ideal for suburban commuter types to get to the GO train in a timely fashion starts operating 10 minutes too late for people to reasonably catch the GO train at King/Victoria, and probably 20 minutes too late to catch it at Weber/Victoria for a 6:39am departure when you consider walking time and time to tap fare cards. Instead you'd need to take the 7:39am (in which case you might as well leave half an hour or 45 minutes later), which would get you to Union at 9:28am -- too late for a 9-5, and maybe even too late for a 10-6 depending on your ultimate destination. This doesn't even cover the 5:39am departure, which is pretty much strictly impossible to get to by transit except for the ION.

I feel like there should be a process (maybe tied into King/Victoria development) where all the connecting bus routes are set up with GO departure times in mind and pushed back earlier than would be typical for them. I bet there would be an explosion in ridership after a few years as a result, as people would feel more comfortable spreading out into those areas (like the Victoria corridor) and not competing so hard to cluster onto the Charles-King-Duke corridor to take advantage of the ION.

I like that this design really makes Kitchener Central seem like a Central station. It makes it seem like you’re arriving in a city, not a town. I hope that they go full steam ahead with building this station. Next up, I think that Waterloo Region needs to really push to get Breslau GO built. As sad as this makes me feel, an abundance of parking would help boost ridership numbers in the AM and PM rush.
I'm a bit divided about this stuff -- I've lived in the region for a while and I'm quite fond of the small towns. While it's a bit heretical on this forum (which tends to favour development pretty heavily) it's sad to see the character of places like Elmira, St Jacobs, New Hamburg, and Ayr change so rapidly. I'd love to see these places be revitalized and set up for the rest of the 21st century in gentle ways that favour activity in their commercial cores, small business, walking and cycling, employment, etc. rather than having them just turn into soulless suburbs of Kitchener and Waterloo. However that's a big ask, and realistically a Breslau station would be a big magnet for the surrounding area. However I think while a Breslau station would be good for drivers in KW or on the east side of the river, I think given where a lot of the K-W suburbs actually are, I'd also strongly favour the Baden/Boardwalk station idea. The Boardwalk feels like a no-brainer for the kind of soulless suburban commuter station Metrolinx loves to build, and the area is already one big parking lot. However a station in Baden would push things a bit further to the west and more clearly act as catchment even for people in Perth County.
 
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