A new report from the Region of Waterloo has unveiled nearly a dozen possible rapid transit options.

Last month the council voted to review an earlier decision to build a costly light rail transit system, despite the fact that support for that plan was almost unanimous in 2009.

The eleven new options, along with the pros, cons and costs are available on the Region of Waterloo's Web site at http://rapidtransit.region.waterloo.on.ca.

The eleven options include plans for light rail trains, rapid transit buses, a combination of the two and the impact of doing nothing.

The most expensive option, which would cost just over $1.5 billion, includes trains running from St. Jacobs Market all the way to the Ainslie Street Transit Terminal in Cambridge.

At the other end of the spectrum, a $608-million project would have trains from Northfield Drive to Ottawa Street with adapted bus rapid transit to Cambridge.

An all-bus rapid transit system would cost around $702 million, while simple road expansion with no additional transit would cost around $500 million, though that option isn't being considered.

Waterloo Region Chair Ken Seiling says "I think I very clearly support the light rail transit option. I think the report point that it may be the more expensive option, but it's the one that is longer term."

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says "It's just a repackaging of the LRT. It's tried to deliver the LRT to the people of this region and those are the options and the way it's been set up."

The region says the least expensive system would cost the average homeowner close to $15 dollars more per year on their property tax bill for six years, while the most expensive option would be over $60 per year for six years.

A series of public meetings will be held to discuss the new options, and regional council is expected to make a decision by June.

The original transit plan

The plan laid out in 2009 would have initially seen trains running from Waterloo's Conestogo Mall to Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener, with rapid buses connecting to the Ainslie Street Transit Terminal in Cambridge.

At the time the plan came with an estimated $790 million price tag, and despite support from Ottawa and the province, the region was left with a $225 million shortfall.

That shortfall and a backlash during the 2010 municipal election, had councillors send staff back to the drawing board for new options.

The recent report has also revealed that the light rail transit system approved last summer has now become even more costly, despite the fact that some expenses have been reduced.