Waterloo Region's rapid transit plan is getting the green light from the provincial government.

Jim Bradley, the Minister of the Environment, emailed his approval early Friday morning.

"Waterloo Region has done a good job consulting with interested parties, responding to concerns, protecting the environment and putting together a public transit project which will serve commuters well," said Bradley.

The $818 million project is the largest single investment in transit infrastructure in the history of the region. The plan will bring light rail transit lines to Kitchener and Waterloo, and rapid bus transit to Cambridge. The 36-kilometre route will run from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to the Ainslie Street terminal in Cambridge.

"It's a huge step for the Region of Waterloo," said Thomas Schmidt, the region's Transportation Commissioner. "We've done the environmental assessment, we've got all the money in place. We're really set to get moving on this project."

"Today marks a pretty significant endpoint of the pre-planning stage," said John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener-Centre. "We can now look forward to the actual construction of it."

The region says all of the necessary approvals are in place.

However before any construction can begin, the region needs to hire legal, financial and procurement staff. They must also choose a firm to oversee the construction.

The provincial government is giving $300 million to the Region of Waterloo for the rapid transit plan. The federal government is contributing $265 million, with the remaining $253 million to be paid by regional taxpayers.