OC Transpo Route 97

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Map with route 97 shown in brown

OC Transpo Route 97 is the City of Ottawa bus (transitway) between downtown and the airport. It starts at Bayshore Station at Bayshore Shopping Centre and ends at either South Keys Station or the Airport. Several trips each day start or end at Tunney's Pasture Station. Some trips also serve Bells Corners after serving Bayshore Station.

Route 97 is also used as an alternative to route 96 from Bayshore Station to Hurdman Station and thus provides improved service to the central transitway, the downtown core and Bayshore Shopping Centre. This also helps on transfers at Hurdman Station, Lincoln Fields Station and Bayshore Station to local routes, some of which in the east end extend to Hurdman Station.

History[edit]

The 97 was created when the transitway gradually expanded in the 1990s especially when the southeastern leg was created all the way to South Keys Station. In its early years the route was serving from the Bayshore area until South Keys with occasional evening and Sunday service toward the Airport. During the 1990s, an older route 96 used to follow a similar route to the 97 from Carlingwood Mall to the Ottawa Airport before it was canceled and replaced in parts by routes 87 through Carlingwood and Hunt Club, 147 through CFB Uplands and the 97. Prior to the 96's cancellation, the 97 ended previously at Billings Bridge and later at South Keys (most trips). It replaced the 96 for the Kanata portion and eventually provided the only rapid transit along the southeast Transitway towards the Airport with more expansion planned towards the west. In 2003, the 97 travelled from Stittsville to the Ottawa Airport via Kanata, Bayshore Shopping Centre and downtown.

In 2004, the city suddenly introduced a major change by splitting route 97 into two different routes which included the new route 96. The 97 lost the section between Bayshore and Kanata/Stittsville, which is now served by the 96 (which also travels via Highway 417 between Queensway Station and Bayshore Station). The 97 also lost its early morning service to Pinecrest Garage to route 96, since the latter one was traveling much closer to it then the 97 - in the late 1990s the early morning trips were running from Kanata to Pinecrest Garage while travelling on the southwest Transitway from Lincoln Fields Station until Iris Station before travelling on Iris Street and Pinecrest Road to serve the Garage starting/ending the trip. [1] By staying on Carling Avenue and Richmond Road only, it sped up the early morning trips by several minutes. Local route 172 and route 173 provide additional service on Pinecrest Road while route 96 served the area at the 417 (the future Pinecrest Station part of the western Transitway expansion).

Also, when the route was changed, the route's schedule configuration changed in some periods. In the past, numerous trips that started at the Airport were doing a longer trip to Kanata with some extending to Stittsville. Today, many trips that start from the Airport end at Tunney's Pasture Station. Many trips that end at Bayshore Station now start at South Keys Station, which in the past terminated at Lebreton Station. This occasionally forces some riders west of Tunney's Pasture Station to transfer to the 97 AIRPORT from the 97X SOUTH KEYS.

In the past two years, weekday service has increased for most of the route.

In their transit realignment plan for 2009, the city planned two modifications with the 97. First, they planned on extending route 97 to Bells Corners via Richmond Road. It would terminate in an undetermined hub location in the community. The change is intended to facilitate transfers for some Kanata routes as well as a future east-west rapid transit link from Kanata to Orleans. However, as of 2009, the proposal was never made nor proposed during the TransPlan consultations.

Also, there was a possibility that a shuttle service would replace route 97's coverage to the Airport, based on the likelihood of service by the future north-south light-rail project directly to the Airport. However, City Council have cancelled the light-rail project on December 14, 2006 which leads to a reduced likelihood of change to service to the Airport by route 97. If the light-rail project would have been completed, there would have been a shuttle service from a proposed Lester Station to the Airport replacing route 97. Route 97 would have ended at the Hunt Club Loop.

For the fall service change in 2010, route 97 operates 24 hours a day during weekdays only. Service to Bayshore Station terminates around 3 AM nightly and resumes at around 4:45 AM, meaning overnight route 97 only runs between Tunney's Pasture Station and Airport Station. Route 97 continued to not run overnight on Saturday and Sunday.

Starting on September 4, 2011, selected route 97 trips have been extended via Richmond Road to/from Bells Corners. These trips start/end near the corner of Moodie Drive/Robertson Road, and replace local route 166 between Bayshore Station and Bells Corners. These trips are signed 97 BELLS CORNERS VIA BAYSHORE and operate every 30 minutes on weekdays, and hourly on weekends. Route 97 also operates 24 hours a day on Saturdays, meaning Sunday is the only day route 97 does not operate 24 hours of.

Future changes[edit]

The western portion between Bayshore station and Tunney's Pasture station will be renumbered route 59 when the Confederation Line begins operation.

Safety Concerns[edit]

There are two areas along this route that had been sources of security concerns over the past few years. The first section is between Bayshore Station and Lincoln Fields Station where there have been incidents of swarming and other incidents mostly at transit stations. The second area of concern is located in South Keys Station, where numerous similar incidents have occurred at the transitway station and more recently at Billings Bridge Station. Bayshore Station, South Keys Station, Billings Bridge Station and Lincoln Fields Station are all equipped with night-time stops in which every route is serving that particular stop and where all passengers wait at that stop after 9 PM on evenings.

Ottawa's former mayor, Bob Chiarelli introduced a unit of officers that would patrol buses, especially at routes that are more problematic and have a history of incidents. It is possible the 97 would be one of those routes.

Purpose[edit]

The 97 is considered the main commuter route for most residents living in the south end of the city in areas such as South Keys, Walkley Station and Billings Bridge, as well as areas towards downtown and Tunney's Pasture. One major park and ride facility is served by the 97 which is at the Greenboro Park and Ride in the South Keys Shopping Centre area.

It is also useful for residents in the Bayshore community during rush hours as it avoids a transfer from route 85 to the 96 or 97 at Lincoln Fields or Bayshore. Additional service between Lincoln Fields and Bayshore is also provided by routes 11, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 82, 85 and 152, that travel via the 417, Carling Avenue, Richmond Road or various neighborhoods such as Craig Henry (route 172), Foster Farm (routes 172 and 173) or Iris (route 152).

Like the 61 and 95, it serves all major downtown touristic areas such as the Canadian War Museum, the Byward Market, the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill. Students are also using this route to get to the University of Ottawa while travellers from the Ottawa Airport can use it as a direct link towards downtown.

The 97's route is located among several major shopping districts. It serves 3 major malls such as Bayshore Shopping Centre, Billings Bridge Plaza and the Rideau Centre. In addition it serves smaller shopping centres such as South Keys Shopping Centre on Bank Street and Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre located on Carling Avenue as well as the Sparks Street Mall, World Exchange Plaza, L'Esplanade Laurier and the Bank Street Promenade all located downtown.

Buses[edit]

A westbound #97 bus near Lincoln Fields Station

Despite its long coverage, regular buses were used for many years on this route instead of articulated buses. When the Rack-and-Roll program started in the early 2000s, some MCIs 89 and 91 models along with some Orion Vs 97 and 98 models were used during the bike season. Starting in the winter of 2001, they've introduced the New Flyer's D60LF articulated buses on certain trips weekdays and Sundays. Those buses were introduced in 2002 on the Saturday Service. Today, the D60LF models are used for the vast majority of the trips with occasional Inveromodels on certain trips. Some trips were served by a double deck Alexander Dennis Enviro500 in the summer of 2012.

Additional Bus Routes[edit]

OC Transpo Route 98[edit]

Since September 2008, many of the 97 trips that depart from Tunney's Pasture were replaced by new route 98, an extension of the former route E84 route that operated between Greenboro Station and the Greenboro community east of Conroy Road. One of every two weekday trips and all weekend trips where the 97 starts at Tunney's Pasture were replaced by the 98. All 97 weekend trips and weekday evening trips travel the entire route, while midday service still consists of half of trips running from Bayshore to South Keys and the other half from the Airport to Tunney's Pasture. The purpose of the change was to provide a direct connection from the Greenboro community towards downtown. There is no eastbound morning rush hour or westbound afternoon rush hour service between Greenboro and Tunney's, although westbound route 98 trips during the afternoon peak continue as route 97 to Bayshore and Bells Corners.

Local service in Greenboro alternates between route 114 (which replaced route C84 along the route during off peak times) and route 98. Weekday service on route 98 is generally every 15 minutes during off-peak times. Peak service is every 5 minutes to Tunney's Pasture Station in the morning and to Hawthorne in the afternoon, with 30 minute service in the opposite direction during these times, which do not travel north of Greenboro Station. Weekday evening service is every 20 minutes and late night service is every 30 minutes between Greenboro Station and Hawthorne. Saturday service is every 15 minutes during the day, with 30 minute service during all other time periods. Sunday service is every 20 minutes in the afternoon, with morning and evening trips running every 60 minutes between Greenboro and Hawthorne.

OC Transpo Route 99[edit]

Previously used as the Highway 417 crosstown route from Orleans to Bayshore Station (and Kanata during peak periods) until 2007, route 99 was re-introduced in 2009 as a rapid-transit route during the TransPlan consultation process. Plans are for a new rapid transit corridor designated to connect Riverside South with the southeast transitway at South Keys Station. Route 99 originally ran from the new Riverview Station to Greenboro Station via Spratt, Limebank, Leitrim, Albion, Lester, and the Airport Parkway. The route replaced local route 145 (which remained exclusively in Riverside South until its complete removal in September 2011) as the local route all day to Greenboro, and rural express route 245 to/from downtown during the rush hour (the two route 245 trips were provided as extensions without transfer until being renumbered as peak period extensions of route 99). Route 189 was also introduced to replace extra route 145 trips along River Road during rush hour - those trips are extensions of/extended as route 99 trips. The route originally ran every 30 minutes from Monday to Saturdays (except every 10 to 15 minutes during rush hour to/from downtown). Sunday service was every 60 minutes. [2].

In OC Transpo's September 2013 service map, route 99 is planned to be extended to/from Barrhaven Centre Station via the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge (which was completed in July 2014), Strandherd Drive, Chapman Mills Road, Longfields Drive, Marketplace Avenue, and Marketplace Station.[3] On 19 July 2014, route 99 was extended to/from Barrhaven Centre Station via the new Nepean Woods Station and the aforementioned routing.[1] This provides a direct connection between Greenboro Station and Barrhaven Centre Station via Nepean Woods Station, the bridge, and Riverside South.

Currently, weekday morning peak period trips are every 10–15 minutes from Riverview Station to Lebreton Station via the Transitway, with selected trips from the corner of Manotick Main/Century East in Manotick, and 30 minute service from Barrhaven Centre Station. Weekday afternoon rush hour trips are every 10–15 minutes from Lebreton Station to Riverview Station, with some trips extended to Manotick and 30 minute service to Barrhaven Centre Station. Midday service during the week, as well as morning southbound and afternoon northbound trips are every 30 minutes between Barrhaven Centre Station and Greenboro Station. Late night weekday service is every 60 minutes. Weekend service is every 30 minutes between Barrhaven Centre Station and Greenboro Station, except late evenings and Sunday early mornings, which are every 60 minutes. Starting on 12 November 2014, route 99 began serving Beatrice Station in Barrhaven between Marketplace Station and Nepean Woods Station as an additional transfer point to routes in Barrhaven.[2]

OC Transpo Route 106[edit]

Since September 2008, OC Transpo Route 106 replaces portions of Route 85 which now runs only between Bayshore Station and Hurdman Station. Route 106 runs between Hurdman and Elmvale Shopping Centre via the Ottawa General Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It is designated as a Rapid Transit Route. The purpose of the changes was to improve reliability on Route 85 which was often criticized for being too long and often behind schedule by several minutes. Service is similar to the 85 with mostly 15 minute service during off-peak periods except every 20 minutes on Sundays and 30 minutes on early weekend mornings and late-evenings. Eastbound morning rush hour service and westbound afternoon rush hour service is running every 7–8 minutes between Hurdman and the Hospitals. [4]

On December 23, 2012, route 106 was extended downtown overnight to provide overnight service to the Ottawa Health Sciences Complex just off Smyth Avenue. This service runs 7 days a week, starts/ends at Lebreton Station and operates hourly.

OC Transpo Route 293[edit]

Starting in Blossom Park, Route 293 provides additional service during peak hours to downtown. It continues to Gatineau after exiting the Transitway in downtown, going to major employment centres such as Place du Portage and the Terrasses de la Chaudière. Some trips also continue to Lebreton. It travels northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening with a headway of 5–20 minutes.[3] Route 144 provides additional service in Blossom Park.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Destination Signs[edit]

Westbound[edit]

97X LEBRETON : Used as overnight trips on Saturdays at 30 minute headways, these trips start at the Airport and do not serve Tunney's Pasture Station, Bayshore Station, or Bells Corners.

97X TUNNEY'S PASTURE : Several trips during the day terminate at Tunney's Pasture Station. Previously, these trips ended at Lebreton Station, but to avoid forcing passengers to transfer in order to access the O-Train Trillium Line at Bayview Station, they extended the trips further west. After the route changes were made in 2004, all trips that end at Tunney's Pasture Station start at the Ottawa Airport. These trips do not serve Bayshore Station or Bells Corners, and operate on weekdays only.

97 BAYSHORE : Most trips end at Bayshore Station. All weekday trips that start at South Keys Station, as well as all weekday evening, weekday early morning, and all weekend trips end at Bayshore Station.

97 BELLS CORNERS VIA BAYSHORE : These trips are extended via Richmond Road and Robertson Road to serve Bells Corners after serving Bayshore Station. They operate at 30-minute headways during the week and hourly on weekends, replacing route 166.

Eastbound[edit]

97X SOUTH KEYS. All trips that end at South Keys Station start at Bayshore Station and operate on weekdays only. They do not serve the Airport and instead terminate at the end of the dedicated Transitway at Hunt Club Road.

97 AIRPORT VIA SOUTH KEYS. Represents the southern terminus of the route. All weekday trips that start at Tunney's Pasture Station end at the Ottawa Airport, as well as weekend trips from Bayshore Station and Bells Corners.

97 AIRPORT VIA LEES. These trips occur during late evening and late nights during all days of the week. They start at either Bells Corners or Bayshore Station and end at the Airport. These trips differ from regular 97 Airport trips in that they travel via Laurier E and King Edward instead of Nicolas.

  • Trips that travels via the former RCAF Station Uplands or via Uplands Drive are still signed 97 AIRPORT VIA SOUTH KEYS.

Frequencies[edit]

Frequent service from South Keys to Hurdman Station and then to Tunney's Pasture is provided by both the 97 and 98. Route 99 and 40 also provide rush hour service downtown. Westbound morning rush hour trips and eastbound afternoon trips on the 97 have service every 5–7 minutes between Tunney's and the Airport with 15 minutes to/from Bayshore. Rush hour service on the 98 is provided every 5–10 minutes on the main community direction, but does not run north of Greenboro Station on the opposite direction (AM southbound and PM northbound). Midday service in both directions is every 5 or 10 minutes between Tunney's Pasture and South Keys, with service to Bayshore and the Airport every 15 minutes. Evening service is every 15 minutes and serves the entire route (Bayshore to Airport). Bells Corners is serviced every 30 minutes throughout the day as extensions of selected Bayshore trips.

Service is provided on Saturdays at 15-minute headway during morning and afternoon, and serves the entire route (Bayshore to Airport). Evening service is every 20 minutes for the entire route. Service to/from Bells Corners is every hour until approximately 11 PM.

Sunday service is every 15 minutes for the entire route in the morning. Afternoon and evening service is 20 minutes for the entire route. Bells Corners is serviced hourly until approximately 6 PM.

Communities[edit]

Major Attractions/Locations along the route[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]