Category Archives: Transportation

WINTER IS COMING: City consults on snowplow driveway markers

(Photo: Snowed in, February 2017. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s the middle of July, so of course the top thing on your mind right now must be snowplow driveway markers.

The City of Ottawa is running a consultation on “formalizing guidelines for snowplow driveway markers”.  Most people have probably never given much thought to this issue and it’s kind of amazing how specific the rules get.  Take a look at all the rules  being proposed:

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Maple Grove closed from July 10-21 for construction

A section of Maple Grove, between Huntmar Drive and Terry Fox Drive, will be closed for construction work from Monday, July 10 at 9 a.m. until Friday, July 14. After that, Maple Grove Road will reopen between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road, but will remain closed between Silver Seven Road and Huntmar Drive until Friday, July 21. Access to businesses in this stretch of road will be maintained and detours will be in place.


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OC Transpo summer service starts Sunday, June 25

(via OC Transpo)

Starting Sunday, June 25, OC Transpo will introduce new route numbers for many routes in the south and east areas of the city in preparation for the opening of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Other summer service changes include adjusted schedules and seasonal reductions to reflect the lower demand for service.

Customers should visit octranspo.com and use the travel planner to see if their regular trips are affected.

New route numbers, same route

Fifteen bus routes will be renumbered as part of the transition to the 2018 transit network. These routes will have new numbers, but the routes will remain the same.

Bus routes being renumbered this summer are in the south and east areas of the city:

  • Route 1 will be renumbered as Frequent Route 6
  • Route 41 will be renumbered as Connexion Route 291
  • Routes 121, 123, 124, 126, and 128 will be renumbered as Local Routes 42, 23, 24, 26, and 28 respectively
  • Routes 144, 146, 147, 148, and 149 will be renumbered as Local Routes 93, 92, 197, 48, and 49 respectively
  • Routes 192, 193, and 194 will be renumbered as Local Routes 47, 31, and 21 respectively

 

Hurdman Station bus platform opens
Bus service at Hurdman Station will move to the new bus platform, adjacent to the future O-Train Confederation Line platforms. Customers will continue to pay their fares onboard buses until the fare-paid zone at Hurdman is established in 2018.

 

New service in Barrhaven
New Route 179 will provide peak-period service for the new office and retail locations at CitiGate, west of Strandherd. Current Route 170 will be extended to serve the CitiGate development and to better serve residential areas along Maravista Drive and Kennevale Drive between Cedarview Road and Strandherd Drive. The rush hour trips to/from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency location on Fallowfield Road will be provided by new Route 179 instead of Route 170.

 

Special service to recreational destinations
Summer weekend service returns on Route 129 to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, on Route 185 to the Experimental Farm and Canada Agricultural Museum, and on Route 198 to Petrie Island. Buses run every 30 minutes during the day on weekends, including on holidays.

 

Free service on Canada Day
Transit is the best option for travelling to Canada Day festivities downtown and across the city with free service all day on OC Transpo and Para Transpo. A special schedule will operate on July 1, with additional service during the day and after the fireworks.

Paper passes are being discontinued
June is the last month for Adult paper passes. Starting in July, adult passes must be purchased on Presto. July will be the last month for senior and community paper passes. Customers can visit an OC Transpo Customer Service Centre or City of Ottawa Client Service Centre to purchase their Presto card. Customers can also go online at prestocard.ca or call 1-877-378-6123 to order their Presto card. Visit octranspo.com for more information.

Real-time schedule information is available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the four-digit bus stop number. Register for alerts at octranspo.com to receive news or route specific changes or detours by e-mail or text. Standard rates apply to SMS messages. New printed timetables are now available. For more details and travel planning assistance, customers should call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com.


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NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options

(PHOTO: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It occurred to me on the drive home from Monday night’s LRT open house that we just spent a lot of time and money on consultants to tell us that the best route for LRT is along the Queensway, like we’ve been planning all along.

Still, consultants and planners will spend the next few months evaluating three options (down from 13 shortlisted routes) for the potential future Kanata-Stittsville LRT extension, from Moodie Drive to Palladium. Continue reading


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15-year-old cyclist hit by vehicle at Hazeldean & Terry Fox

(via Ottawa Paramedic Service)

Paramedics responded to a call for bicycle versus vehicle collision that occurred at the intersection of Hazeldean Rd and Terry Fox Rd. The Ottawa Paramedic Service Communications Centre received the call at 8:43 on Sunday May 21.

Paramedics treated a 15-year-old male patient for a head injury as a result of the collision.

Patient was transported to hospital in serious but stable condition.

Ottawa Police are investigating


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HIGHWAY ROBBERY: Wheels stolen from car at Carp Road Park and Ride

(PHOTO: When Jeff Levere arrived back at his car after work, he discovered that all four wheels were stolen.)

Imagine getting dropped off at the Park and Ride following a long day of work, only to see you don’t have a set of wheels waiting for you.

No, your car is still there. But someone, it appears, has made off with all four of your wheels.

That was exactly the situation Jeff Levere found himself in on April 27. Continue reading


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How to use Ottawa’s light rail transit in 2018

Ottawa O-Train map

When light rail service begins in 2018, a lot about taking transit in Ottawa will change.

OC Transpo outlines everything that’s new and unfamiliar in their $1 million marketing campaign, Ready 4 Rail.

With some helpful additions from OttawaStart.com, here are the details:

Stations

The first phase of LRT, which is the 12.5 kilometre Confederation Line, has 13 stations between Tunney’s Pasture in the west and Blair in the east.

You can read more about the post-2018 plan at stage2lrt.ca.

The trains (and how often they come)

Ottawa is using Alstom Citadis Spirits as its light rail vehicle on the Confederation Line. There are 34 cars in the fleet and 17 trains will run on the line.

They will come about every five minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes after midnight. They will run from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. Mondays to Thursdays, then until 2 a.m. on Friday, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday and holidays.

The trains usually will consist of two Citadis Spirit cars, but they are modular meaning more can be added to meet demand. At peak periods, a train will carry up to 600 passengers. The shorter 48 metre length has a nominal capacity of 300.

 

Which one is the O-Train and which buses are being renumbered? 

Right now, the only O-Train is the Trillium Line, which runs for eight kilometres north to south between Bayview and Greenboro.

After stage two LRT is finished and the Confederation Line opens, the term “O-Train” will refer broadly to both light rail lines. To differentiate them, the lines have unique names as well as numbers — Confederation is line one.

Because the Trillium Line will become the number two train, say bye-bye to the venerable number two bus that runs between Bayshore and downtown. More details on bus renumbering here… 

What happens to the O-Train Trillium Line in 2018?

Not much is changing for now. It will continue to be served by six Alstom Coradia Lint trains, which have a capacity of 260 passengers each.

They run about (emphasis on about) every 12 minutes on weekdays and every 12 to 15 minutes on weekends. The Trillium Line’s schedule is adjusted seasonally and it’s not clear if the Confederation Line also will.

Most of the focus has been on east and west expansions to the Confederation Line, but a future phase from 2018-2023 will also expand the Trillium Line 11 kilometres further south from Greenboro to Bowesville.

There will also be a three-kilometre leg to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

The line will close in spring 2020 to accommodate the work and will reopen into 2021.

O-Train Trillium South map

How are buses changing?

OC Transpo already rolled out most of its bus changes at the beginning of 2017, renaming express routes to connexion. Now, most buses will have a connection to a nearby LRT station. Some buses will be renumbered on April 23.

How much faster is LRT?

OC Transpo says a trip from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair will reliably whisk you across in 25 minutes, allowing you to sidestep weather and traffic. OC Transpo did not provide an estimate for how long it currently takes by bus, either under the worst or best conditions.

How does boarding/transferring work?

Train stations will have fare gates (the Trillium Line will have them installed this summer) where passengers scan their Presto card or transfer barcode.

Greenboro, Bayview, Hurdman, Blair and Tunney’s Pasture stations will have fair-paid zones and buses will stop near the tracks, so you can get off the train and onto the bus right away (or vice-versa.)

In stations without fair-paid areas, you will have to go through a fare gate to get onto the train or tap your pass when boarding a bus.

Can I take my bike on the train?

You can wheel your bike on the train, but details on special rules are still up in the air.

 

(This post originally appeared on our sister site, OttawaStart.com.)


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COMMENT: Let’s start saying light rail to Stittsville

(ABOVE: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It was great to see City Council approve plans for Phase 2 of light rail transit (LRT) today. The $3-billion project includes an extension of the rail line west from Bayshore to Moodie Drive by 2023. That’s good for all west end commuters.

But there’s one thing that’s bugging me: I keep hearing councillors and other officials use the phase “bringing light rail closer to Kanata”. Continue reading


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LETTER: Time to fix Terry Fox-Cope intersection

(Peter Vukovic and his family were on their way to church on Sunday morning, when they were involved in a serious collision at the intersection of Terry Fox Drive and Cope Drive near the Walmart. He posted this photo and open letter to Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri on Facebook. We’re republishing it with his permission. He says his family is shaken, but were not seriously injured. “Thankfully, my daughter asked my wife to sit in the back seat with her for some reason. And everyone was belted. Guardian Angels at work.”)

Councillor Shad Qadri I am begging you to please petition the city to make the intersection of Terry Fox and Cope Drive a fully controlled intersection.

After seeing many near misses and having a few of my own at that intersection over the years, my luck ran out this morning on the way to church. My whole family was transported to hospital by ambulance and the driver of the other car was transported as well.

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New route numbers and bigger buses for OC Transpo this spring

OC Transpo will have a bit more room for Stittsville riders starting April 23, along with new numbers for two of the routes.

According to Councillor Shad Qadri’s web site, bus route 92 will become the 62, and route 96 will become route 61. Times for route 62 (currently 92) and on route 262 will be adjusted to improve convenience and better match the travel needs of customers in Stittsville. The capacity on Route 261 will be increased with the use of a higher capacity double-decker bus in the afternoon.

Here’s a chart showing other route number changes across the city.

OC Transpo route number changes
New route numbers come into effect April 23. (via Councillor Qadri)

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UPDATE: Qadri responds to bus service complaints

Councillor Shad Qadri posted some comments about OC Transpo service in his weekly newsletter today. Highlights:

  • A double-decker bus will be added to the 4:00 p.m. trip on Route 261 starting in April.
  • Overall, most morning trips are taking three minutes longer to reach downtown than they did before Christmas.
  • Scheduled times for all routes are being adjusted based on up-to-date actual observations.
  • Qadri is encouraging residents to keep emailing and calling his office with concerns.

Continue reading


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Your letters and feedback on OC Transpo’s service changes

At the start of this year, OC Transpo replaced express busses – and the premium express fare – with new “connexion” routes.  The connexion buses ferry passengers between suburbs like Stittsville and downtown bus stations, as part of a transition to light rail.  Here’s what we’re hearing from our readers about the changes.

Shirley Butler wrote to us about the pros and cons of the new system:

I have used the peak hour 261 route in both directions for the last ten years.  First, the positives:

1. Bus pass fares are uniform for all riders other than seniors.

2. Regular pass holders are now able to ride the more direct (old “express”) routes and are not forced to ride buses that take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes longer than the regular routes.

3. Stittsville old “express” routes no longer stop at any stops between Tunney’s Pasture and Bayshore making the trip a few minutes faster.

The negatives:

1. Express buses between the hour of 6:45 and 7:25 are very full.  Most days by the time the bus gets to Canadian Tire Centre there is barely standing room.

2. Express buses between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. are very full.  The bus starts at Rideau and by the time it arrives at Kent there is standing room only – that is three stops away.

In the ten years that I have lived in Stittsville (and while rush hour express riders were paying a premium for a bus pass) only one additional trip to routes 261 and 263 was added to the route (in the morning and in the afternoon) in spite of the exponential growth that Stittsville has experienced during the last ten years.   I know that a number of trips were added to the 262 route.  That said, if OC Transpo were to change the timing of the 263 so that it hits Fairwinds at around 7:20 a.m. that would alleviate some of the congestion.  Additionally if there was a 263 trip that started at Rideau at 3:55 p.m. that would spread the 4:00 p.m Fairwinds/Stittsville crowd between the 261 and 263.  As well sending a short 261 at 4:00 p.m is most ludicrous.

All to say OC Transpo charges some of the highest fares when compared to other cities and provides less than adequate services to its users.  I have changed my evening commute to catch the 4:40 261 as it is not as full.  However it is not as convenient.  If that bus does not show up I have to wait for a full 40 minutes before another 261 shows up. 

Although these are not unsurmountable problems I see that OC Transpo will lose ridership, causing fares to go up and service standards to go down. Is anyone looking into the problems and is anything going to be done?

Yes, OC Transpo and Councillor Shad Qadri say they are listening following up on feedback.  “I just wanted to let you all know that I am fully aware of your concerns. I am working with OC Transpo and will get back to you with a follow up within the next two weeks,” Qadri posted to Facebook on January 16.

Meanwhile in Kanata North, OC Transpo officials and Councillor Marianne Wilkinson will be attending a public meeting on Thursday, February 2 to discuss concerns about bus service to that community.  (The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Richcraft Recreation Complex Kanata, 4101 Innovation Dr., in the Minto Room.)


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


Not everybody sees the changes as a negative. Here’s a note we received from resident Linda Norton:

I take the 263 bus and in the morning see no change in the bus schedule or number of people taking the bus ( there are always too many people that have to stand for the entire trip downtown). With the removal of 4 stops on the downtown to Stittsville afternoon route the 263 has become a bus for those heading to Bayshore and west, not a bus for people who can take any bus for a short trip. This means that more Stittsville residents get a seat for the trip home. In my observation the changes to the 263 route are not material.

Positive comments were few and far between. Greg Stapledon’s review of the service was one of many we received in the same vein:

261 is atrocious. It’s a milk run in the morning and a cattle car in the evening. The last 2 days, the 4 PM bus left people at the bus stop after Lebreton. Before Christmas, there was rarely anyone getting on the bus after it left Stittsville in the morning. Now there are people getting on and off all along the route before Tunney’s. It’s added about 10 minutes to my normal commute. Coming home I have to walk up to an earlier stop just in hopes of getting a seat. Lately there seems to be an issue having a long bus on the 4pm run.


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


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UPDATE: More about Stittsville sidewalks

Last week we published a list of ten spots in Stittsville in need of sidewalk or pedestrian upgrades. We asked readers for your suggestions and heard from a lot of you. Here’s a sampling:

“I live in Traditions area. Why is there not a sidewalk from Fernbank to Elm Street along Stittsville Main Street? Where the church is. Children who want to walk from Traditions to where the gas station is, have to cross at Fernbank, go across a busy street, then go past the library, and cross at the light there. We need a sidewalk on the west side of the road there.” -Lori Claringbold Continue reading


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MIS-STEP: A list of mysteriously missing sidewalks

(ABOVE: Walking down Stittsville Main Street during Jane’s Walk 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study gives Stittsville a walkability score for of 54% for pedestrian infrastructure. That’s slightly above the city average of 50%, but it suggests there are a lot of places where we can do better. Here’s a list of 10 spots in need of an upgrade for pedestrians.

Stittsville walkability score
Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, 2016.

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Everything you need to know about OC Transpo changes in the new year

(PHOTO: “New Flyer”. Photo by Justin S. Campbell, via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons License.)

OC Transpo fares will go up in 2017, along with some route changes and a major overhaul to the express bus system.

NEW FARE TABLE

  • The adult monthly pass will cost $113.75, from $105.75.
  • The per-semester U-pass will increase to $202.46 from $197.52
  • The base cash fare will decrease from $3.65 to $3.40.
  • Paper tickets will now be on par with the cash price, with two tickets equal to $3.40.
  • Presto e-purse increases from $3 to $3.35.
  • A full 2017 fare table is on OC Transpo’s website.

If you still use paper passes, those will be discontinued so you’ll have to get a Presto card for $6 soon. Continue reading


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