Ottawa Rapid Transit

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Transitway
Ottawa Transitway logo.png
Overview
Locale Ottawa, ON, Canada
Transit type Bus rapid transit
Number of lines 9
Operation
Began operation 1983
Operator(s) OC Transpo

In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the public transit service operated by OC Transpo has two rapid transit systems: the Transitway, a bus rapid transit (BRT) network, and the O-Train, a diesel-powered light rail transit (LRT) service operated on one line.

History and development[edit]

Bus rapid transit: the Transitway[edit]

Major routes[edit]

The Transitway is one of the most extensive and successful implementations of bus rapid transit, having begun service in 1983; many of the Transitway roads are above or below the grade of normal streets in Ottawa, by the use of overpasses, bridges, and trench highways. Thus, they rarely intersect directly with the regular traffic, and make it possible for the buses (and emergency vehicles) to continue at full speed even during rush hour. Buses that travel on the Transitway can cross very long distances (especially outside the downtown area) without stopping for a single traffic light. Most sections of the Transitway have a speed limit of 70–90 km/h (43–56 mph) between stations, and 50 km/h (31 mph) in the station areas.

Ottawa Rapid Transit Map

The following routes are high-frequency routes that have a significant portion of their route along the Transitway (only bus only roads count as transitway; excluding all routes in Ottawa as transitway routes):
93 - Lebreton to Dominion (peak periods only); Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Bayshore.
94 - Blair to Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture and Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Baseline; Hunt Club Road to Fallowfield (Tunney's Pasture to Fallowfield - some trips only).
95 - Blair to Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Baseline; Hunt Club Road to Barrhaven Centre.
96 - Blair and Hurdman to Laurier (Blair to Hurdman - most weekday trips only); Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Bayshore; Terry Fox.
97 - South Keys to Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture and Dominion; Lincoln Fields; Bayshore (Tunney's Pasture to Bayshore - most trips).
98 - South Keys to Greenboro and Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture (Greenboro to Tunney's Pasture - most trips).
99 - Barrhaven Centre to Marketplace; South Keys to Greenboro and Laurier; Lebreton (Greenboro to Lebreton - peak periods only).

The following routes are other major crosstown routes that use small stretches of the Transitway:
1 - South Keys to Greenboro; Billings Bridge.
2 - Bayshore; Westboro.
4 - Billings Bridge to Hurdman.
8 - Billings Bridge to Walkley; Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton.
85 - Hurdman to Laurier (most trips weekdays only); Lincoln Fields; Bayshore.
86 - Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture; Baseline (86B only).
87 - Greenboro to South Keys; Billings Bridge to Hurdman and Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Baseline (Hurdman to Baseline - most trips).
101 - St. Laurent to Lees; Queensway; Pinecrest to Bayshore.
102 - Blair to Lees; Tunney's Pasture.
106 - Smyth to Hurdman; Lebreton (Lebreton - overnight only).
111 - Billings Bridge; Baseline.
114 - Greenboro to South Keys; St. Laurent to Hurdman.
116 - South Keys to Greenboro and Hurdman (Greenboro to Hurdman - peak periods only).
118 - Billings Bridge to Hurdman; Baseline; Terry Fox.
176 - Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture (Hurdman to Tunney's Pasture - peak periods only); Marketplace to Barrhaven Centre.
182 - Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Bayshore.

Most peak-only and all express routes also use the Transitway, mostly from downtown out towards the suburbs.

Some Greyhound intercity buses use the Transitway from St-Laurent to Laurier either to/from the city's main bus terminal.

Future or proposed new routes[edit]

A coalition group had launched a website about a proposed new route from Barrhaven to Kanata via Bayshore and Baseline stations. This would require rebuilding the ramps connecting the grade-separated section of the Transitway to the Transitway lanes along Highway 417.

2009 Transit Service Plan[edit]

In June 2006, the City of Ottawa released a 2009 service plan for the O-Train route, the Transitway and new bus routes. (This plan was cancelled shortly after the 2006 municipal election.)

To the west, there are new Moodie, Bells Corners, Queensway-Carleton, Hazeldean and Kanata North Transitway stops. To the south, there is a new Nepean Sportsplex stop, and proposed stops for Strandherd and Marketplace. To the east, the Southeastern transitway is extended to Hawthorne, and the Eastern to Blackburn Hamlet and beyond. To the north, there is a planned stop at the Les Terrasses Complex. It also investigates the possibility of transitway buses along Baseline, another downtown location, and from further east on the Queensway from Kirkwood all the way to Eagleson.

New Routes 93, 94, 98, 101, 102, and 108 were included.

Central Transitway traffic issue[edit]

Bus congestion on the Central Transitway

The downtown section of the Transitway, the Central Transitway, consists of a couplet of single bus-only lanes on Albert and Slater Streets (one-way public streets in opposite east and west directions). Traffic congestion here, where the buses mingle with private vehicles, sometimes causes service delays and is seen by some as the main weakness in the Transitway system. The Transit Committee had planned to reduce the number of buses travelling on Albert and Slater streets by 30% if the extension of the light-rail was implemented. Other measures may be implemented to avoid traffic problems despite the cancellation of the O-Train extension downtown.

The Confederation Line project is now set to replace the downtown portion of the Transitway with tunneled electric LRT service.

Type of buses[edit]

OC Transpo articulated bus

All OC buses are now low floor "accessible" buses, with an aim to improve access to the service by the elderly and handicapped, and to speed up boarding by other passengers; most of these are high-capacity articulated buses. Route 96 has used the new Invero low-floor buses since September 2005 and route 101 (formerly known as route 99) since the start of spring 2006. Route 94 and express 61 and 77 are experimenting with three Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double decker buses. The three demo models were sold to BC Transit in the summer of 2012, but OC Transpo has purchased 75 more Enviro500 double decker for use on its express routes, of which 74 are in revenue service (bus 8017 was involved in a major accident with a Via Rail train on September 18, 2013 and is retired).

Extension projects[edit]

There have been plans to expand the transitway to reach other parts of Ottawa; it now only runs along the north edge of the city for most of the central area, leaving Transitway bus routes (93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) to mix with other traffic on local streets on the end parts of their runs.

Some future extensions may include:

Light rail transit: the O-Train[edit]

The O-Train

Since 2001, Ottawa has operated a light rail transit system called the O-Train as a pilot for the full rollout of light rail transit technology. The pilot has been deemed a success, exceeding its ridership targets significantly; it carries 10,000 passengers per weekday. The pilot route utilizes former Canadian Pacific Railway track running south 8 km from the Ottawa River to Greenboro Station (where the South Keys shopping complex is located), and serves Carleton University.

The current line was to be replaced, and then extended south-west (but later cancelled by City Council). It would have contained two parallel tracks, and be electrified. Full operation would have begun in 2009-2010 with a total length of 27 km. However, a new transit plan was voted by Council for extensions to Riverside South and with possible extension to downtown (via a tunnel), Blair, Cumberland South and portions of the west end of the city.

The route of the extension was chosen to service areas of future city growth (although some[who?] feel that it would have been better to focus on current problem areas). As a part of the extension, the service would have also be routed directly into the downtown core at the north end. The trains would have run on the downtown streets now devoted to the rapid transit corridor, in dedicated lanes. There would have been a reduction in the number of buses passing through the downtown core to accommodate the train lanes.

A formal environmental assessment was underway to examine providing a second line for east-west service. Although the idea was to improve Ottawa's capacity problems for east-west transportation, critics of the process (including light rail supporters) believed the preferred route would have not address these problems successfully.

The O-Train utilizes the Bombardier "Talent" Diesel Multiple Unit double-ended trainsets, designed and manufactured by Bombardier in Germany. This is the first application of the Talent in North America.[1]

Rapid transit stations[edit]

St. Laurent Station: a typical Transitway station

Transitway[edit]

Southwest (94, 95, 99)[edit]

  • Barrhaven Centre - This is the terminus of route 95 on some routes traveling westbound and all route 95 trips overnight (route 95 runs 24/7). Located in the shopping core of Barrhaven, the majority of the routes in Barrhaven now pass this busy and ever expanding shopping arena. This was originally intended to be the future end of the City's O-Train route. Supplementary service is provided by routes 99, 176, 186, 205, and 406.
  • Marketplace - A new station on the Transitway in Ottawa and located just north of Barrhaven Centre in Barrhaven's shopping district. Most routes that serve Barrhaven Centre also serve Marketplace, as the two stations are really close to each other.
  • Strandherd - One of the newest additions to the Transitway network in Ottawa, this station has the 95 running every 2-5 minutes during rush hour, and every 10-15 minutes outside rush hour. Supplemental services are provided by express routes 71 and 73, local routes 170 and 171, and Connexion route 406. This site has roughly 300 parking spaces, later to be expanded as the need is demanded.
  • Longfields - The newest segment of the transitway opened in June 2011; this station acts as a local station, between two major populated areas. Route 71, 73, 95, and 186 serve this station, with local route 177 travelling northbound during morning rush hour.
  • Nepean Woods - Located at the corner of Woodroffe/Strandherd, this is the westerly terminus of some route 94 trips; some trips are extended to Riverview. Also served by route 99 as a result of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge. A new park and ride lot opened here on 24 February 2014.[2] Served by routes 94, 99, 176.
  • Beatrice - Opened on November 12, 2014 along a new bus corridor on Chapman Mills Drive in central Barrhaven. Served by route 99 and northbound route 176.[3]
  • Fallowfield - Located at the corner of Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road in Barrhaven, beside Via Rail's Fallowfield Station. This station acts as the western terminus of route 95 for trips not continuing to Strandherd, Longfields, Martketplace, and Barrhaven Centre. Northern terminus for Barrhaven local buses.
Fallowfield to near Nepean Sportsplex is along a $10 million isolated bus-only road (opened on December 13, 2005),[4] although this section has no stations and features a railway level crossing, the first on the Transitway. From Nepean Sportsplex to Baseline Station, buses run along Woodroffe Avenue in dedicated lanes, making several stops at regular bus stops.
  • Baseline - Located on Woodroffe Avenue across from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Western terminal of about half of all midday trips of Route 95; buses terminating here are marked "95X Baseline". Also served by cross-town routes 111 and 118, among several other local and express routes.
Beyond Baseline, the Transitway is fully isolated to Lincoln Fields.

West (93, 96, 97)[edit]

  • Stittsville - Western terminus of some route 96 trips. Located at Goulbourn Recreation Complex on Shea Road.
  • Terry Fox - Located adjacent the Kanata Centrum shopping centre at Kanata Avenue and Earl Grey Drive (near 417 and Terry Fox Drive). Most eastbound 96 trips begin here. Entered service in September 2004 with construction still having been underway at that time; it officially opened on February 22, 2005. Previously, a small terminal at Kanata Town Centre, on Katimavik Road, was used. Terminus of all Kanata local routes. Served by special route 404. No Express service.
To this point the route is on non-dedicated street lanes along collector and arterial roads, much like a standard bus route. Regular stops are made between Stittsville and Eagleson. However, in the long range, there are possible plans to build a Transitway segment between the two stations.
  • Teron - Opened September 2007 and located north of the 417 near the corner of Campeau Drive and Teron Road, the gateway for the Transitway to the North in Kanata. Served by route 93 and local routes 164, 168, and 181. Express routes 60, 65, and 68 serve here during both morning and afternoon peak.[2]
  • Eagleson - Park and Ride located at Eagleson Road and Highway 417. All morning Kanata express routes (and routes 61 and 62 in the afternoon), and routes 93 and 96 (route 93 eastbound only), serve this station, along with local routes 164, 168, 181 and special route 404.
The Transitway proper starts past Eagleson, with a dedicated lane on the 417. One stop is made (on request only via a special signal) at the Moodie Drive interchange.
The Transitway leaves the 417 at Bayshore and follows the northern edge of the 417 to the new Pinecrest Station before returning to dedicated lanes on Highway 417. There is no date on when the section between Pinecrest and the Southwest Transitway will be built.[3]
  • Pinecrest - located north of Highway 417 at the interchange with Pinecrest Road. East terminus of Scotiabank Connexion route 404. Served by routes 93, 96 and 101.

Central (all routes)[edit]

At Lincoln Fields, the West and Southwest branches merge.
From Lincoln Fields to Dominion, the Transitway travels the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in a shared traffic lane.
  • Dominion - Located off Dominion Avenue on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.
From Dominion to just past Tunney's Pasture Station, the Transitway runs in an isolated, below-grade road built along the alignment of a former railway line.
  • Westboro - Located on Scott Street in Westboro.
  • Tunney's Pasture - Located at Scott Street and Holland Avenue at the Tunney's Pasture government office complex. Main western terminus for routes 94, 98 and 102. It also serves as an occasional terminus for route 97 as well as some rush hour trips of route 95.
From just past Tunney's Pasture Station to Booth Street, the Transitway emerges from below-grade and runs in an isolated, at-grade road built on a former railway yard.
Just past Lebreton, the isolated transitway ends and eastbound buses take Slater Street, while westbound buses are on Albert Street; there are dedicated lanes on both streets, but traffic is generally slow in the dense downtown core. This arrangement continues to just past the Rideau Centre.
  • Bay - Located on Albert and Slater Streets at Bay Street.
  • Kent - Located on Albert and Slater Streets at Kent Street.
  • Bank - Located on Albert and Slater Streets at Bank Street.
  • Metcalfe - Located on Albert and Slater Streets at Metcalfe Street.
Over the Mackenzie King Bridge, the Transitway continues in dedicated lanes. The isolated Transitway resumes at Waller Street.
Just past Hurdman, the Transitway branches into two: the East Transitway and Southeast Transitway.

East (94, 95, 96)[edit]

Past Train, the dedicated Transitway parallels the Queensway to beyond Blair.
The Transitway joins Regional Road 174 a short stretch past Blair, running in a dedicated lane. Route 95 buses exit at Montreal Road and Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard and stop on the ramps at ordinary bus stops; these will be upgraded to full Transitway stations by 2009, tentatively named Montreal/St. Joseph and Jeanne d'Arc Stations. On the 2006-2007 system map, OC Transpo had included Jeanne d'Arc as a transit station.[5]
  • Jeanne d'Arc - Provides supplemental parking spaces to the expanding suburb of Orléans (roughly 30 parking spaces).
  • Place d'Orléans - Located at the Place d'Orleans shopping complex in Orleans and is the main eastern terminus of route 95 and peak period trips of route 101.
There is no dedicated bus lane from Place d'Orleans to Trim, buses run in mixed traffic. However, in the long range there could be a separate route built.
  • Trim - Located on Trim Road at Ottawa Road 174. This park-and-ride station is used by route 95 on weekdays. Also served by route 22 and route 122.
  • Millennium - Intersection of Trim Road and Innes Road. This is the eastern terminus of rapid-transit route 94 and express routes 22 and 30.

Southeast (94, 97, 98, 99)[edit]

The isolated Transitway ends at Hunt Club road; 97 buses continuing to the Airport take the Airport Parkway. Note: Buses heading towards the airport after approximately 10:00 p.m. use Hunt Club and Uplands rather than the Airport Parkway.

Ottawa O-Train[edit]

For more information see O-Train route

The Ottawa O-Train pilot light rail service has five station stops. Bayview (at which it interfaces with the Central Transitway), Carling (interfacing with major bus routes), Carleton (serving Carleton University), Confederation (intersecting Heron Road), and Greenboro (at which it interfaces with the Southeast Transitway).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O-Train Light Rail Project - Transport Canada
  2. ^ "OC Transpo - News". octranspo1.com. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  3. ^ "OC Transpo - Bus-only lanes and new station for Barrhaven". OC Transpo. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 
  4. ^ OC Transpo What's New
  5. ^ [1]

External links[edit]