As stage one of the ION LRT nears completion, phase two took a step closer to getting underway on Tuesday night as the Cambridge council planning committee gave approval of the train’s route.
Last June, the region endorsed the preferred route between Shantz Hill Road and Eagle Street North at William Street in Cambridge. That decision was subject to further evaluation and changes were presented to the public in March.
The second phase of the LRT will see ION trains run from Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener to downtown Galt with stops near Sportsworld, Preston and down Hespeler Road. This will complete a route which begins in Waterloo and travels through both its city centre and Kitchener’s before travelling through Cambridge.
A major point of contention which has slowed the process was how the trains were to travel through Preston.
The initial option which had been proposed in 2017, would have affected 60 more properties along its route and created 70 more property buyouts, according to a report presented by city staff to council.
The region launched ION bus service to Cambridge in September 2015, with the idea of eventually having LRT connect all three major cities in Waterloo region via the network.
The ION LRT is expected to launch in spring of 2019, months behind schedule.