The city has been blitzed with glossy pamphlets from OC Transpo explaining the upcoming changes to bus service in collaboration with the operation of the Confederation LRT Line 1. On Sunday, the days of concurrently running bus routes downtown are over. OC Transpo red-vested staff will be on hand to assist in the ease of transferring from buses to the LRT line.
Connections to the city’s core are located at three major transfer stations — Tunney’s Pasture in the west; Hurdman and Blair in the East. Many bus routes will be adjusted to align with Line 1, and in many cases, route numbers and schedules will change. Most customers will be affected so use the travel planner on octranspo.com to find out how your route will change if at all.
Major destination points are changing – including Gatineau, hospitals, universities and colleges. OC Transpo recommends that you visit Ottawa Destinations in the Plan Your Trip section of octranspo.com to download a new printable guide.
Interestingly, in a City of Ottawa press release, the highlighted transit network improvements promise a fast, traffic-free commute through the downtown core – true; new direct bus service to Gatineau from the west end, plus connections to Gatineau at Pimisi and Lyon stations – helpful.
But, what really stood out was the highlight of “increased service in Kanata North, Bell’s Corners and Orléans“. Question – where is Stittsville positioned in all of the promised new service? Our bus service has deteriorated significantly in our community over the past few years, with constant complaints of late/early or no-show buses, crowded buses – just a lack of service overall. We have heard promises that once the LRT is up and running service will improve. When? Is OC Transpo going to compensate our community ridership by sending those buses from now defunct downtown routes out to Stittsville to improve our service issues?
It is agreed that express routes will improve with later times being added on the morning and afternoon Stittsville runs (261, 262 and 263). But that doesn’t take into consideration the crowded buses, early/late or no-show service that will get riders to these new LRT connections. Unless of course, it is expected you have no option but to hang around to wait for the ‘next’ bus. Routes 61 and 62 show no indication of improvement for those wanting to travel throughout the daytime yet experience, at peak times, the same problems as the ‘express’ routes.
These are the biggest OC Transpo changes in Ottawa’s history. As much as everyone wants this transition to be a success, we can only anticipate that service improves and Stittsville is not left waiting in the cold for the next bus!
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