Waterloo, we’ve got you covered for Grand River Transit!
GRT connects riders in Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge, helping them get to their destination as efficiently and affordable as possible. With weekday ridership as high as 69,000, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Rocketman can help you figure out when the next transit vehicle is coming, get real-time notifications about delays, and have the least stressful transit experience possible.
How to pay for Grand River Transit
To ride GRT, you need a form of payment.
This can come in a variety of forms, though EasyGO cards, the smart payment solution, appear to be the preferred method of payment for GRT. You can also pay for your bus ride with cash, and MobilityPLUS riders can purchase paper tickets.
How to buy fares/passes?
EasyGO fare cards can be purchased online using credit or debit, or in-person at authorized retailers or vending machines. Tickets and passes can be purchased at vending machines using card payment, or at in-person retailers using cash, debit or credit.
You can also pay for your bus ride with cash as you board.
Where to buy fares/passes?
While cash fare can be paid when you board a bus, other tickets and passes need to be purchased in advance of your ride. Tickets, EasyGO cards, multi-ticket cards and some passes can be purchased at vending machines before you board the ION Train.
You can purchase EasyGO fare cards (and load them) online or at authorized retailers. For reduced fare passes you’ll need to go directly to a GRT customer service centre. MobilityPLUS customers can purchase passes and paper tickets at GRT customer service centres, over the phone, or at authorized locations.
GRT Fares Zones
At this time, all of the areas that the GRT services see the same fare pricing scheme. However, there are flexible transit solutions that could see different fare pricing. Public transit systems that are not part of the GRT are not included on the same fare pricing scheme.
What is POP?
To ride GRT buses or the ION Train, you need to provide proof of purchase or POP. This can be in the form of a cash payment, paper ticket or transfer, multi-trip card, other pass, or an EasyGO card.
Each single fare is good for unlimited rides within 90 minutes of its issue time. You can scan a ticket or transfer on a fare vending machine or platform card reader before boarding. If you are planning on riding multiple times, you can purchase a reloadable EasyGO fare card or multi-ride card (a disposable card that can be loaded with up to 15 trips) — transfers will be added automatically, so simply transfer your card on the reader before boarding.
Beyond cash or a single fare payment, there are other passes available to GRT riders, including:
Affordable monthly passes (for eligible persons)
U-pass or College pass (for eligible post-secondary students)
SUNone Summer Pass (for elementary and summer students)
TravelWise Corporate Program (for employees enrolled in the program)
Veteran’s Pass (for eligible persons)
TAPP pass (for eligible persons)
EasyGO fare card
If you’re looking for a cashless transit payment solution, the EasyGO fare card is your answer. It’s a plastic smart card that makes paying a whole lot easier.
You can pick up your card from a customer service location, vending machine, or online for a one-time fee of $5, and you will need to initially load it with $10. Cards can be loaded with passes, stored value, or both, and loaded online, at a customer service location, a vending machine or authorized retailers.
Using your card is as easy as tapping it on the machine before you board your train or as you board the bus, making it simple to pay for your next trip. Cards can be managed online, and if it is lost or stolen, you can report and replace it for a $5 fee (your passes and remaining value can be transferred to your new card).
What is MobilityPLUS?
While many GRT vehicles are built with accessibility in mind, some transit riders are not able to use the conventional system. That’s where MobilityPLUS comes into play. For the same fare and fees as regular transit, those who need a little extra assistance can still access an affordable transit option.
MobilityPLUS uses smaller bus-style vehicles to transport passengers with impaired mobility around the Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge areas. Users of this service need to apply and be approved before they can use the service. Bookings can be made online.
Getting around Waterloo with Grand River Transit
GRT is one of the best and most affordable options for getting around the Waterloo area. But public transit can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you feel like you’re in the dark during your ride. Rocketman makes it easy to know when the next train or bus is coming, and whether or not you need to start running or can casually make your way there.
Grand River Transit Alerts
Rocketman keeps riders up to date with real-time GRT updates, so you don’t have to be in the dark about your transit ride. As long as you have the app and an internet connection, you can get alerts about delays, and stop and station closures, and still (hopefully) arrive at your destination on time.
What happens when there is a subway closure?
When there is a significant disruption along the ION route, shuttle buses are employed to help ferry passengers between stations. Delay announcements are both made at the station and shown on the departure display — but if you have the Rocketman app, those notices are delivered right to your phone.
Grand River Transit safety and security policies
The safety and security of all GRT passengers and operators is important, which is why the transit service has implemented a number of safety and security policies to ensure everyone’s trip is as pleasant and safe as possible.
Grand River Transit COVID-19 information
While COVID-19 has disrupted the way we go about our regular business, GRT understands that riders still need to get to where they’re going. So, they’ve stepped up their safety game to help riders and operators stay safe, including:
Enhanced cleaning procedures
Temporary driver barriers on all buses
Mandatory screening for all employees,
Physical distancing management at customer service locations
Automatic opening doors on trains
They ask that all passengers ensure that they stay home if they’re not feeling well, wear a mask or face covering while riding transit, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, and, where possible, travel at less busy times.
Is Grand River Transit safe?
GRT takes the safety of its passengers and operators seriously. If you need assistance, there are a number of resources and ways to get into contact with someone who can help you out.
What happens if there is an emergency on Grand River Transit?
Emergencies can happen even on the most prepared transit systems. Whether you are riding on one of the bus routes, at the station, or on the train, there are emergency procedures and tools in place. In the event of an emergency that requires police, medical, or fire assistance, call 911.
At a train station…
If you are at a GRT train station and an emergency occurs, there is a blue call box that can connect you with a staff member who can help. The box is marked with a blue light, to activate it press the red button.
This box is only for emergency situations, if you need general information call customer service at 519-585-7555.
On a train…
If you are on the ION train and an emergency occurs, press the yellow emergency alarm bar to sound the alarm or use the intercom that’s located next to each door to speak with the operator. Trains are also equipped with emergency door releases, along with an emergency window punch that can be used if an emergency situation calls for it.
Just a quick reminder that these are for emergencies, not if you missed a stop — misuse can result in a hefty fine!
On a bus…
If you are on a GRT bus and an emergency occurs, let your driver know immediately. If police, fire, or medical assistance is needed, call 911.
What do I do if I see something on Grand River Transit and need to report it?
If you need to report something to GRT, you can do so via their online form. You need to provide contact information so they can follow up if they need additional details.
What does Grand River Transit do with their security footage?
All buses and trains that are part of the GRT transit system are equipped with surveillance cameras. Recordings are deleted 72 hours after collection, but might be retrieved prior to that and retained longer if access and use is required by police or law.
How do I lodge a complaint with Grand River Transit?
If you would like to file a complaint with GRT, you can call customer service at 519-585-7555 (or TTY 519-575-4608). They ask that you provide contact information so they can follow up on the details and get more information from you if necessary.
What to do when you lose something while riding Grand River Transit?
We’ve all got to where we were going and had that sudden pit in our stomach when we realize we’ve forgotten or misplaced something. Thankfully, if you believe you left something behind while riding Grand River Transit, you can call 519-585-7555 to see if your item has been turned in.
GRT has limited room for lost and found items, so they are only kept for a short period of time. For example:
Bikes and electronics are held for four weeks then donated
Clothing items are kept for one to two weeks then donated
Legal or government documents will be kept for four weeks then returned to the appropriate legal or government office
You can arrange to pick up items during regular customer service hours. You will be required to show ID.
What to do when you lose something on the train?
Items that are left behind on the ION LRT are returned to the Customer Service Centre in Kitchener on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you leave something behind on the train, call 519-585-7555 to see if your item has been turned in.
What to do when you lose something on the bus?
Items that are left behind on buses in Kitchener or Waterloo are taken to the Kitchener Customer Service Centre. Items that are left on the bus in Cambridge are taken to the Ainslie Street Terminal. If you were riding a bus between Kitchener or Waterloo and Cambridge, your item could be at either location. Call 519-585-7555 to see if your item has been turned in.