(Waterloo, ON) May 5, 2011 – Sustainable Waterloo supports Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Waterloo Region.

In a position statement released on Thursday, May 5th, 2011, the organization stated that it is supportive of the Region’s staff recommendation of L3b linking the Conestoga and Fairview Malls from Waterloo to Kitchener, but prefers implementation of the region-wide L9 option – linking our community from St. Jacobs to Cambridge – in order to maximize the benefits of LRT at a marginal cost increase.

LRT will have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the Region. Member organizations in Sustainable Waterloo’s Regional Carbon Initiative have reported that employee commuting accounts for 24% of their total GHG emissions. LRT from St. Jacobs to Cambridge would reduce our Region’s GHG emissions by 22,260 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 4,062 cars off the road – and will only cost on average $38 per household per year more in property taxes than if we were to continue with business as usual road expansion. Staff recommendation option L3b linking Conestoga and Fairview Mall would reduce GHG emissions by 14,030 tonnes per year and is $2.35 cheaper than the cost of continuing with business as usual.

“Region-wide light rail transit offered by option L9 is our opportunity to create the infrastructure that will support the projected growth of the region, unite our communities, and  equip us with a transit option that balances the continued health of our economy and the natural environment,” says Mike Morrice, Sustainable Waterloo’s Executive Director.  “By linking St. Jacobs to Cambridge, we would be optimizing the many benefits of LRT in our community.”

Sustainable Waterloo’s full position statement is available at www.sustainablewaterloo.org/LRT

Note that the views expressed here belong to Sustainable Waterloo and do not necessarily reflect those held by all members of the Regional Carbon Initiative.