New Confederation-era bus routes

For the past several years OC Transpo has been reorganizing the city’s bus routes into a more rigorous grid pattern. The grid pattern is in accord with the standard international practice of replacing meandering every-point-to-every-point bus routes common to smaller cities (many routes, low frequency, awkward transfers) with a higher-frequency grid pattern that actually makes more points and places available to more people with more frequent service. More transfers are required, but this should be offset by the increased frequency of service available on the grid making connection times shorter.

Of course not every route can operate at high frequencies 24/7, and there are always anguished objections from people who lose a convenient legacy route. I feel your pain, as a west sider a number of my now -one-bus trips are being replaced by trips that involve both a bus and a train, or bus-train-bus, with the attendant time loss of making the connections and the time spent traversing the stations.

What I lose in local service is offset by my lesser-frequented longer trips which the trains should make faster, once Phase 2 opens (should I live that long). And in honesty I have to look at the big city wide picture and acknowledge the system is moving in the right direction.

Here is the Sept 2018 urban area bus route map:

Note that we already well into the evolution towards a grid route network, with changes over the last few years focused on shifting routes into feeders for the east-west Confederation Line (line 1). I can’t say I have noticed any evolution into feeders for the north-south Trillium Line or SE Transitway (Hurdman south to wherever…).

Here is the map as of November 2018, once the Confederation Line opens:

The new map really emphasizes the grid like pattern. Even in Alta Vista and Overbrook (east of the Rideau River)  it’s a grid, just rotated a bit to match the dominant street pattern.

You can go to OC Transpo to see the map live, complete with + and – buttons so you can zoom in to see particular trip bits that excite you:    

Note that the route colouring is now more obvious and meaningful, and the rail spines are highlighted in thick red (Confederation) and green (Trillium) lines.

Routes are still being runumbered, as part of a multi-year ongoing process. I notice that when the Trillium Line isn’t running, the parallel bus route will be called the R2 (replacement). When the Confederation Line trains aren’t running late at night, and presumably occasionally in the day due to teething problems, the parallel bus route is labelled N1 (night).

For the benefit of west siders, here are some closer-ups of the routes on the core and west half of the urban area:

and here’s the detailed look for local west siders:

Note that the #85 (starting in November, not this weekend !) will go from Preston to Pimisi Station to Gatineau (not downtown Ottawa).

The #11 route change to terminate at Confederation Square and not service the Rideau Centre, starts this weekend, Sept 2.





7 thoughts on “New Confederation-era bus routes

  1. This might be helpful:

    Also, night routes are listed as N39 (Orleans to Rideau skipping Hurdman and only serving Lees eastbound; current 22 and replacing 95), N45 (Hospitals to Rideau and only serving Lees eastbound), N57 (Bayshore to Rideau portion of current 97), N61 (Kanata to Rideau), N75 (Barrhaven to Rideau portion of current 95) and N97 (Airport to Rideau portion of current 97).

  2. I was disappointed to see that the frequent buses are only going to run every 15 minutes or better between 6am and 6pm on weekdays. I was really hoping that OCTranspo would follow through on the promise of more frequent weekend service and provide every 15 minutes or better 7 days a week instead of every 30 minutes or better on the weekend.

  3. Am I missing something, or are there NO bus routed starting or ending at Bayview. Is this an oversight or do they wish to d-emphasise the Trillium line? We spent a lot of money on THAT station.

    1. Actually, I think this is part of the new grid doctrine. You’ll notice that there are very few bus lines that start or end at a transit station at all – with the idea being that each line continues E/W or N/S past the rail spine, carrying passengers to and from it from both directions.

      Bayview is pretty well served by two train lines and two bus lines along Scott / Albert. And I’m sure as Bayview and Lebreton become more densely developed you’ll see more N/S action around there.

      1. They only identify one route serving Bayview, previously suggesting that the 16 would only run every 30 minutes (less than now). Yes, the 85 is nearby and suggested at every 15 minutes just as now. So, except at peak when the 61, 63, 66 and 75 extend from Tunney’s Pasture to Gatineau, it is only 2-6 buses at Bayview each direction in a given hour.

  4. I thought STO busses were being moved off Wellington. This map still shows them there. Is that a next phase idea? Or has that idea been scrapped?

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