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ION to launch on June 21

The date was announced at Wednesday's regional council meeting
GM Jan 7, 2019
ION testing in downtown Kitchener. Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

The region has been waiting for it to start rolling down the tracks for almost two years.

But we finally have a date for the launch of ION, the region's light rail transit system.

That will happen on Friday, June 21.

An opening ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. that day at Fairway station.

There will be also free service for the first eleven days, for both ION and GRT buses.

ION was originally supposed to launch in July 2017, but was delayed due to construction and the delivery of some trains.

The announcement was referred to by Regional Chair Karen Redman as "the worst-kept secret in the Waterloo Region."

Still, that did not stop the packed council gallery from cheering after the announcement video was played.

When the motion to provide the first eleven days of service for free Redman jokingly called for the vote by saying, "Those in favour? Those opposed if you dare?"

That vote passed unanimously and was met with laughter amongst the crowd.

The mood was jubilant throughout council chambers, as residents have waited nearly fifteen years for this project, which according to Councillor Tom Galloway already has resulted in $3 billion worth of developments along the ION corridor.

Galloway was also pleased that the launch date would meet their projected spring 2019 launch projection, "According to the Farmers Almanac spring official ends at 11:54 AM June 21, we should beat that by about an hour and a half."



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