Getting Around on the iXpress Bus System in Waterloo Region (pros and cons)

Here in Waterloo Region our public transportation is always growing to suit the growing population. The iXpress is part of Grand River Transit, our daily bus service. The iXpress is a fairly new route that takes you to farther distances in shorter amounts of time. It was first introduced in 2005. This is accomplished by making fewer stops along the way. The iXpress is great for reaching specific destinations. With this article we will explain the different iXpress routes and teach you how to use this bus system to get to different places.

The iXpress consists of five different routes along main roads in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. There are the 200, 201, 202, 203 and 204.

200

The 200 runs from Conestoga Mall all the way to Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge, mostly along King Street in Kitchener-Waterloo and Hespeler Road in Cambridge.

After departing Conestoga Mall, its major stops are:

McCormick
UW/Columbia
UW – Davis Centre
Laurier
Regina/Willis Way
Charles Terminal. This takes 20 minutes from Conestoga Mall.
Ottawa
Fairview Park Mall
Sportsworld
Pinebush
Cambridge Centre
Ainslie Terminal – final stop. This takes 46 minutes from Charles Street Terminal and 1 hour 16 minutes from Conestoga Mall.

*reverse this order if you are taking the 200 from Ainslie Terminal toward Conestoga Mall.

The 200 is the most popular iXpress route as it hits both shopping malls and travels the farthest (to Cambridge).

On weekdays, beginning at 7:00am, the 200 runs every 10 minutes during the day, until 6:30 when it runs every 15 minutes. It then runs every half hour beginning at 8:15. The last 200 departs Conestoga Mall at 10:45, and departs Charles Terminal at 11:20PM.

On Saturdays, the first 200 departs Conestoga Mall at 7:50, and departs Charles Terminal at 8:22AM. On Saturdays the 200 runs every half hour until 10:25AM when it begins to run every 15 minutes. This continues until 6:45PM when it runs every half hour again, the final bus leaving Conestoga Mall at 10:45PM and Charles Terminal at 11:19PM. The final 200 reaches Ainslie Terminal at 12:09PM.

Going the opposite direction, from Ainslie Terminal to Conestoga Mall, the first bus leaves at 8:15AM and runs every half hour until 9:45AM when it runs every 15 minutes. Then at 5:45 it departs every half hour and the final bus leaves Ainslie Terminal at 10:15PM, reaching Charles Terminal at 11:06PM and Conestoga Mall at 11:37PM.

On Sundays and holidays, the first 200 departs Conestoga Mall at 8:15AM, and departs Charles Terminal at 8:49. Remember it takes 35 minutes for the bus to go from the mall to Charles Terminal. It runs every half hour all day, and the final bus departs Conestoga Mall at 8:15PM, and leaves Charles Terminal at 8:49PM. The final bus reaches Ainslie Terminal in Cambridge at 9:36PM.

201

The 201 runs from Conestoga Mall to Forest Glen Terminal in Kitchener, mostly along Fischer-Hallman Road. Beginning at 6:05AM, the 201 runs every 15 minutes. From 7:00AM to 9:30AM, it runs every 10 minutes to accommodate the large amounts of commuters going to work and school. Beginning at 9:30AM, it runs approximately every 15 minutes. From 2:39PM to 5:39PM, it runs every 10 minutes again to accommodate the same commuters who are now coming home from work and school. It runs every 15 minutes after this, and at 6:30PM it runs every half hour until the last bus leaves the terminal at 12:05AM. After departing Conestoga Mall, its stops are:

Columbia/King
University of Waterloo at Columbia
Fischer-Hallman and Erb
Fischer-Hallman and Highland
Fischer-Hallman and Ottawa
Forest Glen – final stop. This takes about 40 minutes from Conestoga Mall.

*Reverse this order if you are taking the 201 from Forest Glen toward the mall.

On Saturdays, the first 201 departs Conestoga Mall at 6:35AM, and hits Forest Glen at 7:09AM. Going the opposite direction, the first 201 departs Forest Glen at 6:45AM, reaching Conestoga Mall at 7:19AM. It runs every half hour all day until the final buses leave Conestoga Mall and Forest Glen at 12:05AM and 12:15AM respectively.

On Sundays and holidays, the first 201 leaves Conestoga Mall at 8:05AM and this bus route runs every half hour throughout the day, with the final bus leaving Conestoga Mall at 11:35PM. Going the other way, the first 201 leaves Forest Glen at 8:15, and runs every half hour all day until 11:45PM.

202

Route 202 runs through Waterloo, from the Boardwalk Shopping Centre to Conestoga Mall, mostly along University Avenue. The Boardwalk Shopping Centre spans Ira Needles Boulevard, featuring Landmark Cinemas, and many big box stores like Lowe’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bulk Barn, Adventure Guide, Bulk Barn, Curry’s Artist Materials, and Wal-Mart, just to name a few. There is also a big new medical centre here where you can find a family doctor, plus banks, hair salons and many restaurants.

The 202 major stops are as follows:

Conestoga Mall (depart)
Blackberry Northfield
University/Bridge
Laurier
University/Seagram
Erb/Fischer-Hallman
The Boardwalk
*reverse this order if you are taking the 202 from The Boardwalk to Conestoga Mall

On weekdays, the first 202 leaves Conestoga Mall at 5:55AM and heads toward the Boardwalk. It runs every half hour until 7:09AM when it runs every 10 minutes until 9:30 when it runs every 15 minutes. Then at 2:15 it runs every 10 minutes again until 6:00PM when it runs every half hour until the last bus leaves at 11:50PM. Alternatively, the first 202 leaves the Boardwalk at 5:58AM and runs every half hour until 7:15 when it runs every 10 minutes until 9:15AM. It then runs every 15 minutes until 2:45 when it runs every 10 minutes again. This continues until 6:15PM when it runs every 15 minutes and then every half hour beginning at 10:30PM, until the last bus leaves the Boardwalk at 12:00AM.

On Saturdays the first 202 departs Conestoga Mall at 6:55AM and reaches The Boardwalk at 7:29. It runs every half hour all day until the last bus leaves the mall at 11:55PM. Alternatively, the first 202 leaves The Boardwalk at 6:25AM and reaches Conestoga Mall at 6:58AM. It also runs every half hour in this direction until the last bus leaves The Boardwalk at 11:55PM.

On Sundays and holidays, the first 202 departs Conestoga Mall at 7:50AM and arrives at The Boardwalk at 8:23AM. It runs every half hour until the last bus leaves Conestoga Mall at 11:51PM. Alternatively, the first 202 departs The Boardwalk at 8:00AM and arrives at Conestoga Mall at 8:32AM. It also runs every half hour until the last bus leaves The Boardwalk at 11:30PM and reaches the mall at 12:02AM.

203

The 203 was introduced in 2013 and goes from Cambridge Centre Mall (there is a terminal here) to Sportsworld Terminal. The 203 also goes to Conestoga College in the mornings and afternoons during peak periods, mostly for the college students.

The major stops are as follows:

Cambridge Centre Mall
Franklin/Jamieson
Fisher Mills/Scott
Sportsworld
* after arriving at Sportsworld, the bus waits 5 minutes before departing
Conestoga College
*reverse this order if you are taking the 203 from Conestoga College to Cambridge Centre

On weekdays, the first 203 departs Cambridge Centre at 6:00AM and arrives at Sportsworld at 6:30, then reaching Conestoga College at 6:44AM. It runs every half hour until the final 203 leaves Cambridge Centre at 9:35PM. Alternatively, the first 203 departs Conestoga College at Doon at 6:20AM; Conestoga College at Cambridge at 6:26AM, and reaches Cambridge Centre at 6:58AM.

On Saturdays the 203 does not service Conestoga College. The first 203 leaves Cambridge Centre at 6:30AM and reaches Sportsworld at 6:57AM. Alternatively, the first 203 departs Sportsworld at 7:00AM and reaches Cambridge Centre at 7:27AM. The bus runs every half hour until 6:00PM.

On Sundays and holidays the 203 does not service Conestoga College. The first 203 leaves Cambridge Centre at 9:00AM and reaches Sportsworld at 9:27AM. The bus runs every hour until the last one leaves Cambridge Centre at 9:00PM.

204

The 204 is the newest route and was introduced in 2015. It runs from Ottawa and Lackner to the Boardwalk using Downtown Kitchener, Highland Road, Victoria Street, and Ira Needles Boulevard. It runs every 15 minutes during the week, and every 30 minutes during evenings and weekends.

Its major stops are as follows:

The Boardwalk (depart)
Ira Needles/Highland
Highland/Fischer-Hallman
Highland/Belmont
Charles St. Terminal (catch any bus from here)
Victoria/Kitchener (Rail Station)
Victoria/River
Lackner/Victoria
Ottawa/Lackner

On Weekdays the first bus departs The Boardwalk 5:40AM, the final bus departs 11:45PM. Alternatively the first bus departs Ottawa/Lackner at 5:51AM, the final one leaving at 11:20PM.

On Saturdays the first 204 departs The Boardwalk at 6:15AM, the final bus leaving at 11:45PM. Alternatively the first bus departs Ottawa/Lackner at 6:26AM, the final one leaving 11:19PM.

On Sundays the first 204 departs The Boardwalk at 8:15AM and the final bus departs 9:45PM. Alternatively the first bus leaves Ottawa/Lackner at 8:26AM, and the final bus departs 9:48PM.

Bus fares are as follows:

regular cash fare – $3.25
Adult tickets – $13.30 (strip of five tickets. Can be purchased at drugstores, convenience stores, bus terminals)
reduced tickets – $11.55 (strips of five tickets for seniors, elementary and high school students)
Adult monthly pass – $82.00 (for adults, college and university students with GRT photo ID)
Reduced monthly pass – $70.00 (for seniors, elementary and high school students with GRT photo ID)
College Pass – $280.00 (4-month term)
Conestoga College pass – $218 (4-month term)
Student SunONE Summer Pass – $118.00 (July and August for elementary and high school students)
U-Pass – $85.20 (this price included in tuition for students at University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University)
Day Pass – $7.75 (for one customer for weekday and Saturday service; valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children on Sundays and statutory holidays)
T.R.I.P. Pass – $42.00 (Transit for Reduced Income Program)

GRT Photo ID card – $5.00 (photo ID card required for buying tickets and passes)

With so many students riding the 7 routes, the advent of the iXpress is very handy for other citizens, as well as students who commute to and from school every day.

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