Here’s how your OC Transpo commute will change in the next few years

New OC Transpo bus stop signage

No more express fares, and a transfer from bus to train at Tunney’s Pasture if you’re heading downtown. Those are two of the biggest changes in the next few years as OC Transpo’s light rail system leaves the station in 2018.

Here are some highlights from a presentation at City Hall today:

  • No more direct bus to downtown. You’ll have to make at least one transfer from a bus to a train at Tunney’s Pasture if you’re heading downtown from Stittsville.  (Once light rail is extended west, you’ll eventually switch from bus to train at Bayshore.)
  • No more express fares.  OC Transpo is moving to one rate for any bus or train trip.  (There will still be separate Senior and Child fares)
  • New route numbers. Each part of the city will have different range of numbers. Stittsville buses will be numbered 62 and 66 and are designated “rapid” routes connecting to LRT stations. They’ll follow routes similar to today’s 92 and 96.
  • Express routes will become “connexion” routes, numbered in the 200 range, operating mostly during rush hour.
  • OC Transpo promises travel times “similar or better” than today.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Watson and MP Karen McCrimmon are holding a press conference on Wednesday morning at 9:00am for “an important announcement regarding Ottawa’s future transit options”.

Earlier this month, we reported about a push to bring light rail transit to Kanata before 2031.  Could tomorrow’s announcement be about federal funding to help move up that timeframe?

Media advisory sent from the City of Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon. Mayro Watson and MP Karen McCrimon will make an announcement about transit on Wednesday.
Media advisory sent from the City of Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon.


This map shows where bus commuters from different parts of the city will transfer to light rail.
This map shows where bus commuters from different parts of the city will transfer to light rail.
New OC Transpo signage. Routes will be colour-coded by type (local, rapid, connexion, etc.)
New OC Transpo signage. Routes will be colour-coded by type (local, rapid, connexion, etc.)

Press release via City of Ottawa:

OC Transpo today released three reports that include important information about changes to transit service that will be made when the O-Train Confederation Line opens in 2018. The reports are: Bus Service Identification, OC Transpo 2018 Route Network, and OC Transpo Fare System.

The transit service delivery model approved by Council in 2012 requires reorganization of the bus route network to coordinate service with the O-Train Confederation Line. The transition to the 2018 bus route network will affect the everyday trips of most transit customers as they may have to make a new connection between bus and train, or bus and bus, use fare gates, or use a bus route with a different route number. All O-Train stations on the Trillium and Confederation lines will have automated fare control, making it easy and efficient for customers to pay fares.

The 2018 service network will introduce three new service types: Rapid, Frequent and Connexion. Premium fares would be removed and the current Express service will be replaced by new Connexion routes, which will connect customers’ neighbourhoods to the Confederation Line.

A new system map for the 2018 service network will be available in 2017 and will feature new service colours and symbols and a simplified format. A new wayfinding system will form the basis for clear communication and understanding of the new network for transit customers in the lead up to the opening of the Confederation Line service. New route numbers and bus stop graphics will be introduced in stages, beginning in 2017.

All three reports will be presented to the Transit Commission on Wednesday, June 15, and the OC Transpo Fare System report will be presented to City Council on June 22.

Here’s more information from slide decks presented today:


4 thoughts on “Here’s how your OC Transpo commute will change in the next few years”

  1. It’s pretty hard to relate the map to real streets and it would help if they all had the same version for Stittsville. Never knew there were so many diagonal roads e.g. can you really go from Terry Fox Station to Bells Corners crossing Eagleson on an angle? Other confusing things – calling it O-Train (I think of this as being the O-Train which goes to Carleton) – O-Train is the overall name – it has 2 lines – Confederation and Trillium. Makes the trip sound faster but transfers slow the service down. Also conflicting statements as to number of routes. They should have had the feeder route plan and analysis long before construction began. I still can’t figure out how the buses to Tunney’s relate to the plan – they say there is an integrated bus loop at Tunney’s but where is it and how does it relate to the current Transitway? But we are not supposed to use that word any more

  2. So, basically not only does Kanata and Stittsville get screwed over getting light rail, the city decided to also make their commute by bus harder as well?

  3. I work in the west and live in the East, this is a bloody nightmare for a commute. And I really hope it does get better, I am just flabberghasted at the seismic thrust that building this has created. Rather disheartening.

  4. Presently, my wife and I can take the Route131 from our home to the Orleans Mall, then take the Route 104 from Orleans direct to the Riverside Hospital for our frequent treatments, and return home by the same routes. A total of four bus changes for the entire trip (with few waits), and return to our house. This is very convenient, as after treatment, we are not feeling very well due to the medications administered to us. However, in the future with the new LRT, it seems that the trip to and from the Riverside Hospital will involve at least four bus rides, plus two LRT trips, With All The Associated Waits For Each Ride. This Is Progress???? With these required waits for the connecting buses and LRT on the return trip, while still feeling very unwell from the treatments, this will in all likelihood result in us having to take a taxi for the return trip home (something we can’t afford!!!!), as with the medications administered to us, we are unable to drive for a minimum of 24 hours, so we are stuck with the taxi. Thanks for nothing Ottawa!!!!

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