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Interprovincial Transit Study Released

posted Jun 14, 2013, 11:23 AM by John Verbaas

The NCC led interprovincial transit study which was initiated in 2009 published its concluding report in April 2013. It consists of a single summary document together with a number of supporting documents focused on specific sub-topics (long term network infrastructure evolution, user experience harmonization, STO/OC Transpo bus operations improvements, governance issues).  The full set of these can be found on the Interprovincial Transit Study Resources page.   There appears to be no intention to have the recommendations of the report brought to Ottawa City Council for their deliberation.

This final report recommends tweaks to improve the operational integration between OC Transpo and STO but does not recommend any major inter-provincial transit changes until at least 2031 at which time it is suggested that the STO Rapibus facility be converted to LRT with a link across the Ottawa River west of downtown. The report identifies challenges to finding a way to terminate this new interprovincial LRT line in downtown Ottawa, outlines several possible options (transfer all passengers to Ottawa east-west LRT,  operate through Ottawa's tunnel, or build a new line on the surface in Ottawa's downtown) and leaves a final decision to some time in the future.   

In terms of STO bus operations in downtown Ottawa, the report basically calls for the status quo of ~100 buses per hour on Rideau/Wellington streets for another 20 years.  This is combined with 35 OC Transpo buses per hour on the Rideau portion which together translates to approximately 1 bus every 25 seconds (during rush hours for another 20 years).  Uninspiring to say the least.

In the interim (between 2013 and 2031) the study identifies the possibility of extending the existing O-Train across the river.  This will not address the core challenge of moving large numbers of passengers to/from Ottawa's downtown.  It's main benefit would be allowing some interprovincial passengers better connections between points south and west in Ottawa and Gatineau's downtown without them needing to connect through existing downtown transit routes.  This would help to reduce slightly the number of STO buses downtown.  Similarly, a potential new bridge at Kettle Island could carry some bus routes which would enable some transit trips between the east sides of both cities without those passengers needing to transit through the downtown.  This too helps reduce slightly the number of STO buses in Ottawa's downtown.  The O-Train interprovincial extension and bus routes on a Kettle Is bridge are not core to the long term interprovincial transit strategy.

More detailed information about the results of the study and the CCC's involvement can be found on this interprovincial transit study webpage.

This is the  NCC's interprovincial transit study website.