A big community high five goes out to everyone who was involved in this year’s Fill the Bus event for the food bank
Here’s a note from Stittsville Food Bank chair Theresa Qadri:
“What an amazing team we have! Caring, charitable and always looking after one another. You all came together to get one of our largest food drives, OC Transpo Fill the Bus, to the food bank. Well over 14,000 items of food collected and over $2400.00 collected. You make me so proud and honoured to know you all. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart to donors, volunteers, Brown’s Your Independent Grocers, OC Transpo (Carlos & Family and Harry), and our Board.”
Organizers also send out a thank you to all the volunteers, including the Pathfinders and their organizer Leila, for help at the event.
City-wide, the 33rd Annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive was a success. A record-breaking total of 139,322 food and non-perishable items and $38,176 in cash and food vouchers were delivered to local food banks. These donations will be used to restock the shelves for the upcoming holiday season.
The City of Ottawa, with Loblaw Companies Limited, will be collecting food and cash donations for the annual OC Transpo/Loblaw Christmas Food Drive to benefit the Ottawa Food Bank on Saturday, December 2.
OC Transpo buses will be parked outside participating Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer and No Frills stores across Ottawa. (In Stittsville, the location is at Brown’s Independent on Stittsville Main Street from 9am-4:45pm.) Volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations. If you can’t make it out on December 2, you can donate online at ottawafoodbank.ca/octranspo. For every dollar you give, the Ottawa Food Bank can purchase about $5 worth of food because of their wholesale purchasing power. Continue reading →
West-end commuters won’t be able to ditch their cars at the future Moodie LRT station and ride the rails to downtown Ottawa.
There simply isn’t enough room near the station to build a park-and-ride facility, according to a report on the Stage 2 transit expansion.
Council had asked staff to see if a park and ride could be built at Moodie station, which will become one of the western terminuses of the Confederation Line LRT in 2023.
The report says a parking deck would likely be required because of the space constraints. The structure could become obsolete when the city extends LRT to Kanata in a future Stage 3. Plus, a parking facility would inappropriately encourage car traffic across the Greenbelt, the report says.
Starting Sunday, September 3, OC Transpo will introduce new route numbers for several routes as part of getting Ready for Rail and the opening of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Other fall service changes include adjusted schedules to reflect the higher demand for service as customers return to work and school.
(press release from the City of Ottawa, photo via Google Maps)
Sections of Carp Road Park and Ride will be will be closed intermittently from August 2 to early September 2017, due to upgrade work being done at the facility. The work will take place in stages during the daytime, and the facility will remain operational at reduced capacity throughout. The upgrades include surface paving, additional lighting, concrete repairs, a new bus pad and bike racks. Directional signage will guide pedestrians during sidewalk repairs. Continue reading →
FARMERS’ MARKET UPDATE
There’s still no date set for the opening of the “official” Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Village Square Park, but Suzanne Bird is forging ahead anyways with a mini market next door at “The Barn”. Bird owns the old log building on the east side of Village Square Park. The first event will be on Friday, June 30 from 4:00pm-7:00pm, and will feature two Ontario CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers. More info here…
MORE THEFTS AT CARP ROAD PARK & RIDE
Last month Devyn Barrie reported on a man who had all four of the wheels stolen from his car during the day while it was parked at the Carp Road Park & Ride. This week, there were reports of two thefts of catalytic converters from cars. In one case, thieves sliced through the vehicle and took the catalytic converter, a section of the exhaust system and cables from a 2017 Nissan Titan.
Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his newsletter this week that city officials are looking into the feasibility of adding security cameras to the lot. (The lot is technically in Rideau-Goulbourn, not Stittsville.)
Meanwhile, the City is planning to pave the lot, and increase the number of spaces from 115 to 150.
*** UPDATED PLANS FOR 5505 FERNBANK
The City of Ottawa has posted applications for a Draft Plan of Subdivision and Zoning By-law Amendment for a new phase of the Blackstone subdivision. You can read about the plans here, and submit comments and questions to City of Ottawa staff.
The piece of land is at the southeast corner of the Fernbank area, adjacent to the Walmart.Cardel and Mattamy are the developers, and the plan is to develop 950 housing units, including detached homes and townhouses, and apartments. The proposed development includes two parks, a stormwater management block, a public elementary school site and a future Catholic high school site.
It’s probably worth pointing out that even though there’s land designated for future schools, there’s no guarantee they will ever be built, and there’s a window of at least seven years for the school boards to exercise their options on the land. The master plan for the entire Fernbank area includes land for 11 schools, including a public high school further west.
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.
(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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
The City of Ottawa held a big press conference this morning to announce the latest plans for “Stage 2” of Ottawa’s light rail system. The most significant update for Stittsville residents is that planners hope to extend the tracks as far as Moodie Drive (instead of Bayshore) by 2023. Continue reading →
Stittsville Main Street is getting a new restaurant this spring. Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce plan to open a 30-seat restaurant called Jack Ketch at 1536 Stittsville Main Street. Most recently, the building was home to Brown Bear Daycare.
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.
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 OCTranspo 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 OCTranspo 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 OCTranspo 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnykteased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation. Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading →
“Wow! What an amazing community we have! 9,987 pieces of food raised today alone! A big thank you to Carlos and Family and Harry from OC Transpo! Thank you to Brown’s Your Independent Grocers, the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo, Ottawa Food Bank! And what an wonderful group of volunteers!!! We couldn’t have done it without everyone coming together! Just look at the photos of the bus and mountain of food! Thank you all!” Continue reading →