WATERLOO — Innovative start-up transit Wroute Inc shuttered its doors on Thursday after less than a year of service and just five weeks after they introduced a revamp of their station network, leaving those without vehicles to rely once again on public provincial transportation.
Wroute started eight months ago with plans to take advantage of thousands that travel between Guelph, the Kitchener-Waterloo Region and elsewhere within their network, that initially launched in September 2018 with one line between Guelph Central Station and Fairview Park Mall.
The start-up was billed as a private solution to a public transportation gap, but there was not enough tickets bought to keep it afloat despite a new station network launching just four weeks earlier.
“Essentially it became apparent that the marketplace was just not present,” president Jason Hammond told the Waterloo Region Record on Friday, explaining that there was not enough passengers “necessary to allow the company to be financially viable in the long term.”
As of May 2, Wroute is gone and over a dozen jobs are lost. Now, those without vehicles will have to rely on expensive taxi or ride-sharing services, and, for most people, the taxpayer-owned Metrolinx.
It takes over 1:30 on average to get from Fairway Park Mall in Kitchener to Guelph Central Station via GO Transit, run by Metrolinx, with an, on average, 30 minute stopover at Aberfoyle Park and Ride. This is the best transit option for a city only about 28 minutes away by car.
The Guelph Post has reached out to Metrolinx in regards to their efforts for improving transit between Guelph and the Kitchener and Waterloo regions. Recently, GO Transit has added more train times between the two cities, but the trains only go one direction in the morning and evenings.
Those headed west will, for now, be forced to transfer between GO Transit buses until the a direct bus route is created between Guelph and Kitchener.
Image of Wroute from Wroute.