Newsroom: The Record

Posted Jan 7th, 2019 in News

Wroute expands its passenger service

New Burlington connections join additional stops in Waterloo Region, Guelph

Jan 03, 2019 by Brent Davis  Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — Wroute Inc. is branching out, adding additional stops in Waterloo Region, Guelph and Burlington to its regular passenger service.

The Kitchener-based transportation company launched frequent trips between Fairview Park mall and downtown Guelph in September with a fleet of electric Tesla SUVs.

Beginning Monday, it will add service to the Region of Waterloo International Airport, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, University of Guelph, the Aldershot GO station, and Mapleview mall in Burlington.

"It's really a reorganizing of our capacity," said Wroute president Jason Hammond. Adding Aldershot "really opens up a lot of connections," he said. The station is served by GO Transit buses and trains, and Via Rail and Amtrak trains.

"Being able to connect to that really enables our passengers to get a lot more out of it," Hammond said. "We're looking to allow them to leave the car at home and make the connection with us."

Wroute (pronounced "root") launched with service every 15 minutes between Kitchener and Guelph, seven days a week, from early morning to late evening. That has since shifted to every 30 minutes in peak periods, and every 45 minutes or so in off-peak times or weekends. Rides are shared, with up to six passengers and two bicycles.

"What we've heard from our passengers is that they care more about access to new places," Hammond said.

Kitchener passengers going to Aldershot and Burlington can ride direct from Fairview Park to Aberfoyle, where they'll transfer to a Wroute SUV travelling from Guelph to Burlington.

There will also be an early morning and late night express trip between Fairview Park and Aldershot.

One-way prices including tax range from $10 to $32; gratuities aren't accepted, and reservations and payment are made online.

There are local transit options between some of the stops in Guelph and in Burlington, "and we don't want to compete with them," Hammond said. That's the reason for the $10 minimum fee — it's Wroute's way of saying "you should take transit to do this trip," he said.

But in other cases — like the Butterfly Conservatory and the airport — there are no transit links. The connection to Aldershot is another gap that needs filling, Hammond said.

Wroute has 27 full-time, salaried employees who Hammond said are paid a living wage. He added that the company was founded to do something about climate change.

While he'd like to have more passengers, he said the response to date has been positive, and most of their customers have become regular users.

"It's a chance to be a part of something that's making the community more sustainable."

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