— ION (@rideIONrt) May 8, 2019
It’s like two years late and truth be told I had zero faith in this June 21st date when the region announced it, but today, the new light rail transit system (A.K.A. the bane of the existence of anyone who had to do anything that involved traveling around Kitchener and Waterloo in the last six or seven years) finally starts running!
For the sake of being helpful, here are a couple of useful things.
First, this Ready To Ride ION page from Grand River Transit filled with useful information about opening weekend. True to form, it wouldn’t be an LRT event without a few road closures.
Road closures will be in place on Wilson Avenue from Fairway Road to Traynor Avenue and on Kingsway Drive from Wilson Avenue to Greenfield Avenue on Friday, June 21, 2019 from approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A road closure will also be in place on Frederick Street from King Street to Duke Street from 9 a.m. on Friday, June 21 to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2019.
And second, a tip from me, a future rider.
Remember that even if you aren’t on one of the trains, odds are high that you’ll still have to interact with them at some point. Please do your part and refrain from driving like an idiot. There have already been four car vs. train collisions in as many weeks, and that’s with the damn things still in the testing phase. You should be careful as a rule, but remember that these trains are now carrying loads of people who, like you, have somewhere to go and would like to get there safely and without the need for a side trip to the hospital.
If you go to any of the opening ceremonies or take a ride this weekend, have fun. I think I’m going to wait until some of the craziness dies down before I give it a go. It’s easier to learn these things as a blind dude when you can get more of a day to day sense of what it’s like instead of trying to navigate through a giant party.