More Ways, Life

Imagining new ways to get from here to better.

Waterloo, ONtario

Keolis’ first light rail operation in North America

The first of the two phases of the ION Light Rail Transit (LRT) – Region of Waterloo’s new rapid transit system in Ontario, Canada – was launched on June 21, 2019. The modern system serves the residents and visitors of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, as well as surrounding rural municipalities. As part of the GrandLinq Consortium[1], Keolis Grand River - Keolis’ local subsidiary - is responsible for the 19 km light rail line operations for the next 10 years and maintenance for the next 30 years. The contract, which was awarded in May 2014, is under a Public-Private Partnership (P3).

KCA_Tram 3

In 2020, the Keolis-operated ION Light Rail Transit system received the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships' Gold Award for Service Delivery.

ION light rail transit system at a glance:

  • 19 km network with 19 stations.
  • 15 accessible, low-floor, comfortable, electric and silent light rail vehicles (LRVs) made by Bombardier (Ontario) operating every eight minutes during peak hours with off-peak schedule of 15 minutes frequency.
  • 200 passengers capacity per vehicle.
  • ION Light Rail will be fully integrated within the existing GRT network – ION and GRT will be one system with one fare.
  • LRV operators with extensive training.
  • The Control Room features employees supervising train operations, power management and coordinating incident response 24/7 all year round.
  • Technicians and engineers will monitor and maintain the LRVs and the infrastructure.


[1] Also composed of Plenary, Meridiam, Kiewit and Aecon

KCA_KGR Launch2