bike rack

How to get around without a car

There are lots of great places to visit in Kitchener-Waterloo (KW), Brantford, and beyond. Getting around isn’t as difficult as it may seem – even if you don’t have a car.

There are a variety of options for commuting that fit different budgets, distances and times of day. Here is a list to help plan your next trek through town.

Kitchener and Waterloo

The Basics

Bus

The Grand River Transit bus system runs through Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. The Laurier OneCard works as an unlimited bus pass for full-time students. There is a stop outside the university’s main entrance on University Avenue that routes 7, 8, 9, 12, 29, and iXpress routes 200 and 202, service.

Laurier’s campus isn’t too far from the Charles Street and Conestoga Mall terminals, which makes transferring to other routes easier.

Route schedules and the easyGO trip planner can help you coordinate trips and bus transfers.

Bicycle

Laurier is partnered with the Working Centre’s Community Access Bikeshare (CAB). After registering, you can borrow and leave bikes at any of the stations around town. For students, there is a station conveniently located on campus outside the John Aird Centre (Faculty of Music).

If you have your own bike, Laurier also offers secure bike storage. The facility is located behind the MacDonald House residence. You can register each term to gain access.  

Kitchener-Waterloo has so many great resources that make cycling an affordable and easy travel option. There are places around KW for secure bike parking, minor bike repairs and even local businesses that will fill your water bottle for free. There are also maps available online for both Waterloo and Kitchener that show biking routes.

Carpool

You may want to form a carpool group as you make friends around campus. You can register for a carpool parking pass and park in lot 32 (Lazaridis Hall).

Laurier also has a private network on TravelWise to organize carpools. Once registered, you can connect with other commuters as either a driver or passenger. The TravelWise dashboard is a useful tool to consider other travel options as well, with tabs to view walking, biking, busing and driving routes.

Cab

Many people opt for Uber these days, but if you need a ride during surge pricing or at an odd time when no drivers are out, it might be good to keep these numbers for cab services on hand:

  • Golden Triangle Inc: 519.740.2222
  • Kitchener City Cabs: 519.747.7777
  • United Taxi: 519.888.9999
  • Waterloo Taxi: 519.888.7777

For Late Classes

Laurier Foot Patrol

If you’re close enough to campus, walking is probably your go-to travel option for class. Laurier Foot Patrol makes walking home from late night classes or events safer. It’s simple: a team of two student volunteers walk you home.

They operate from 6:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week, during the fall and winter semesters. They can be reached at the bottom of the stairs in the Fred Nichols building or at 519.886.3668.

Laurier Foot Patrol Van

Laurier Foot Patrol also offers a van service for those not within walking distance. You just need to register once for the program. The van leaves campus every hour from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Alternative Car Options

Carshare

If you need a car every once in a while, but don’t have access to one in town, a carshare might be a good option. Community CarShare has a vehicle located outside University Stadium on Seagram Drive. There are also Zipcar locations in the area.

Car Rental

If you just need a car for a day, or for a quick trip out of town, a car rental may be a good choice. The two closest to campus are Enterprise and Hertz, both located on Weber Street in Waterloo.

Going Out of Town

Bus

There are a few bus lines running through the KW area that can take you to out-of-town destinations. The GO Bus has a stop (next to the GRT bus stops) just outside Laurier’s main entrance on University Avenue for route 25, and another stop at the GRT bus terminal on Charles Street for routes 30, 31 and 33.

Greyhound buses stop at the University of Waterloo and at the Charles Street terminal. Megabus also stops at Charles Street.

Tickets for the GO Bus and Greyhound are available for purchase on campus at International News (between Wilf’s and the Bookstore). There is also a Go Bus ticketing machine on University Avenue in front of Clara Conrad Residence.

Train

VIA Rail and the GO Train both operate out of the same station at the corner of Victoria Street and Weber Street in downtown Kitchener (some GO Buses also stop at this location).

Brantford

The Basics

Bus

The Brantford Transit bus system features 15 routes that travel to the different sections of the city. The Laurier OneCard works as an unlimited bus pass for full-time students.

Laurier’s Brantford campus is located a couple of blocks away from the bus terminal on Darling Street, which makes it easy to access all routes. Route schedules and the prediction portal trip planner can help you coordinate trips and transfers.

Bicycle

If you have your own bike, Laurier offers secure bike storage. The facility is located in the Expositor Place parking garage. You can register each term to gain access.  

Brantford has resources that make cycling an affordable and easy travel option. There are bike racks around the city and local businesses that will fill your water bottle for free.

There is also an online map that shows biking routes through the city.

Carpool

Laurier has a private carpool network on TravelWise. Once registered, you can connect with other commuters as either a driver or passenger. The TravelWise dashboard is a useful tool to consider other travel options as well, with tabs to view walking, biking, busing and driving routes.

You may also form carpools as you make friends around campus, and Brantford campus students have the convenience of organizing carpools through Travel Buddies, a private Facebook group organized by Laurier alumnus Jimmy Liao.

You can register for a carpool parking pass and parking space in the RAC lot.

Cab

Many people opt for Uber these days, but if you need a ride during surge pricing or at an odd time when no drivers are out, it might be good to keep these numbers for cab services on hand:

  • Brant Taxi: 519.752.1010
  • City Taxi: 519.759.7800
  • Bell City Cabs: 519.759.1300
  • O-Town Taxi and Delivery: 519.445.0827

For Late Classes

Laurier Foot Patrol

If you’re close enough to campus, walking is probably your go-to travel option for class. Laurier Foot Patrol makes walking home from late night classes or events safer. It’s simple: a team of two student volunteers walk you home.

Foot Patrol operates Monday to Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., during the fall and winter semesters. They are located in the basement of the Student Centre and can be reached at 519.751.7875.

Foot Patrol Van

Foot Patrol also offers a van service during its operating hours for those not within walking distance.

Alternative Car Options

Car Rental

If you need a car for a day or for a quick trip out of town, a car rental may be a good choice. Brantford has a few rental places in town, including Enterprise, Discount Car and Truck, and Pencar.

Going Out of Town

Bus

There are a couple bus lines running through Brantford that can take you to out-of-town destinations. Greyhound buses stop at the bus terminal on Darling Street, only a couple of blocks away from Laurier’s Brantford campus.

The GO Bus (route 15) also stops at Darling Street and at the corner of Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Henry Street. The bus travels to McMaster University in Hamilton and Aldershot station in Burlington.

Train

VIA Rail operates out of the train station located on Wadsworth Street near the junction of Market Street, Gray Street and West Street.