Grand River Transit buses running between Ayr and Kitchener or Cambridge could be one year away from being a reality.

Regional councillors voted Wednesday night to apply to the province for a grant which would see an Ayr bus route created for a five-year trial.

Three possible routes are under consideration.

One would see buses use Cedar Creek Road to head to Cambridge, where the route would end at the Ainslie Street Terminal.

The other two routes would both connect Ayr with Kitchener, either by taking Highway 401 to the Sportsworld transit terminal or by taking the 401 to Homer Watson Boulevard and ending up at the Fairway ION station.

Whichever route out of Ayr is chosen, buses would make several stops in the community at commercial or retail locations, social service providers and the North Dumfries Community Centre.

Trips outside Ayr would likely only be made during peak periods in the morning and afternoon, with buses running a smaller loop around Ayr during the midday hours.

After revenue from fares is taken into account, the Ayr route is expected to cost about $325,000 per year.

The province is expected to decide on the grant this spring.

Grand River Transit’s first bus route into a township was created in the late 2009s, when buses started to run to St. Jacobs and Elmira. A route encompassing New Hamburg and Baden was added in 2016.

GRT staff believe there is also ridership potential in Breslau, although there are currently no plans to extend service into that community.