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Record number of riders on GRT buses and ION

A GRT bus is seen in Waterloo on April 28, 2023. (CTV Kitchener) A GRT bus is seen in Waterloo on April 28, 2023. (CTV Kitchener)

Grand River Transit (GRT) says it set a new ridership record during the first week of September.

The transit operator recorded 150,000 boardings per day between Sept. 5 and Sept. 8, which it says is equivalent to filling The Aud more than 19 times. Of those, 130,000 were on buses and 20,000 were on ION light rail trains.

A boarding is counted whenever someone steps on a GRT bus or ION train for a trip.

“More people than ever are choosing to take transit as an affordable and sustainable method of transportation,” Coun. Colleen James, planning and works committee chair, said in a news release.

According to GRT, ridership typically peaks during the first two weeks of September when students are back at school, although it’s expected to remain higher than average throughout this fall.

Director of transit services Doug Spooner acknowledged some buses have been crowded.

“We continue to monitor routes and trips for overcrowding and are ensuring we continually have all of our available buses on the road,” Spooner said.

Earlier this month, GRT launched a major service expansion in Cambridge, along with adding new weekend service in fast-growing areas of Kitchener and Waterloo.

Grand River Transit’s previous record of 110,000 boardings per day was set earlier this spring. Top Stories

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