Transportation

The University of Waterloo supports many transportation options for students and employees.  Use the tools below to have a low-impact commute!

GoTravelWise  |  Transit  |  Cycling and Walking  |  Carpooling  | Emergency Ride Home  |  Community CarShare

GoTravelWise

UWaterloo has partnered with the TravelWise program to access the gotravelwise.ca website.  Here, you can:

  • See your options:  How much does your commute cost you by car, bike, or bus?  How much carbon do you produce?  How many calories could you burn?  How long will it take? Search your trip to UWaterloo and find all that and more!
  • Search for carpools: Want to find the perfect carpool match?  Plug in your info and see who is out there waiting.  See carpooling below.
  • Track your trips: Log your trips to win quarterly prizes, keep tabs on your progress and impacts, and help UWaterloo better understand employee commuting.

Staff, faculty, and students can join the University of Waterloo private user group by signing up with their @uwaterloo.ca email.  Visit the links below to register.

Transit

UWaterloo is located along many major transit routes and the upcoming ION rapid transit corridor, making the bus a simple and cost-effective way of getting to campus.

Student U-Pass: Undergraduate and graduate students automatically receive a Grand River Transit (GRT) bus pass as part of their student fees.  Simply show your WATCard!

Staff and Faculty: Discounted Grand River Transit passes are available to staff and faculty through one of two options:

  1. Corporate Pass - Parking Services organizes a bus pass that automatically deducts from payroll, saving you 15% off a regular GRT monthly transit fare.  Visit Parking Services in the Commissary building to enrol.  You will have to go to GRT to pick up your pass.
  2. TravelWise Pass - If you are looking for more flexible options, the TravelWise pass is available in 3, 6, 9, or 12 month options.  The discount ranges from 5-15% depending on the length of time.  You can pay directly through your credit card and the pass will be shipped to Parking Services and delivered internally.

Tickets and Inter-City: GRT ticket strips, GO tickets, Greyhound tickets, the Fed Bus tickets, and PRESTO fare cards can be purchased at the Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre.

Wayfinding: Don't know where to catch the bus?  Visit the Campus Map for GRT, GO, and Greyhound stops on campus, or the Grand River Transit website for all route maps and schedules.  Plus, check out the GRT EasyGO App to get real-time updates for busses near you, available on BlackBerry 10, Android, Apple, and Windows phones.

Cycling and Walking

UWaterloo South Campus is located along the Laurel Trail, and is in a great location for many cycling and walking routes.  South Campus is filled with pedestrian-friendly walkways, with traffic mostly limited to services vehicles and those using accessible parking spots.

Trails: You can find nearby on-road and off-road easily using Google Maps.  Just search the way you would for driving directions, and hit the bike or walking icons!

Bike Parking: Ample open-air bike racks are available at all buildings around campus.  Don't forget to lock your bike, and visit the bike theft prevention tips from Police Services.

Secure Bike Boxes: There are several more secure bike boxes available on South Campus.  These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and cost $10 per term to access.  Contact Parking Services in the Commissary building if you are interested.

Bike Centre: Need your chain adjusted?  Have a flat?  Stop by the Bike Centre in SLC 0101 beginning in May for affordable access to tools, parts, and volunteer support on minor bike repairs and tune-ups.

Bike Auction: Lots of bikes get left around campus, so if you are looking for a cheap ride that's been refurbished, stay tuned for an upcoming auction!  There is usually a date for spring and fall terms.

Theft Prevention: Bike theft happens.  Visit the Police Services website for helpful theft prevention tips.  You can also register the serial number of your bike to make it easier to recover in case of theft!

Carpooling

Sharing the ride is one of the easiest ways to save money on gas and parking, and cut your environmental impact at least in half!

Carpool Matching*:  Visit the TravelWise website to search for options near you! To register, use your @uwaterloo.ca email address and join the appropriate group.  You can choose to match only with others in your group, or with people from other TravelWise organizations and the community:

Facebook Matching*: If you are looking for an impromptu ride, try posting on the Facebook Group.  You must have a Facebook account and join the UWaterloo Facebook Group with your @uwaterloo.ca student or staff/faculty email address to access.  This is a user-driven Facebook group which the University does not monitor or control.

*For your own safety, it is strongly encouraged to meet with a new match in a public area before you start carpooling.  Get to know the person, agree on terms such as cost sharing, smoking/non-smoking, and music tastes.  

Carpool Parking: Employees may contact Parking Services to set up a formal carpool, and you will get access to preferential parking spaces!  Visit Parking Services for more information.

Emergency Ride Home

Sometimes the unexpected happens, and sustainable commuting options are not always as flexible as driving.  Don't worry, you're covered.

Staff and Faculty who walk, cycle, take transit, or carpool are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program through TravelWise and the Region of Waterloo.  Individual employees may be reimbursed up to $75 per trip, for a maximum of 4 trips per calendar year.

There is no pre-registration required.  Just grab a receipt from your cab driver to submit a claim.  The Region of Waterloo reserves the right to inquire about the nature of your emergency.  Employees abusing the ERH will lose further privileges.  Check out the Emergency Ride Home (pdf) form to learn what is covered and how to make a claim.

The ERH is not available for undergraduate or graduate students at this time.

Community CarShare

Employees: Want to walk, bus, or bike, but need your car to get to meetings?  Your department can join Community CarShare to gain access to vehicles for business travel.  Billing is centralized and you don't have to worry about gas, insurance, or maintenance - that is all included. Talk to your department administration about joining.  You can also set up a personal membership for weekend and non-work trips.  It's a great way to save your household money on transportation costs.

Students: As of February 1, 2015, CarShare is now accepting drivers who are 18 or older and have a G2 license!  Learn more about how you can access CarShare for weekend trips, exploring Waterloo Region, and more!

Visit the Community CarShare website for more rates, vehicle locations, and to sign up.