New OC Transpo bus routes impact centretown

OC Transpo is proposing some significant bus routes changes that affect our neighborhoods on the west side of the downtown. Comments on the routes must be in to oc transpo by April 25th.

Most significantly, the number 16 would no longer run along Scott nor Albert in the Flats area. It would instead start somewhere in the downtown ( I couldn’t find out where on the OC transpo page) and run east only. And number 18 will run only run as far west as Tunney’s. These changes are part of OC Transpo’s rerouting scheme to reduce the buses that run through the core in favour of routes that deliver people to the transitway and the express buses on it.

A new route, 150, will start at Tunney’s and go west approximately on the old 18 route. It appears that OC Transpo is getting a head start on the major transfer facility proposed in the DOTT plan for Tunney’s Pasture.

While the goal is laudable, I find a number of things upsetting. First, it assumes all users commute to the core. What of people in the central neighborhoods that want to travel west? While many transpo users are M-F commuters, many residents depend on OC Transpo for all trips. Well, we’ll just have to transfer. For those who live beyond an easy walk to the transitway stations, that means yet another bus transfer. And why do the oc transpo web pages highlight the routes affecting the west end neighborhoods but ignore the trips originating in central area neighborhoods?

2 thoughts on “New OC Transpo bus routes impact centretown

  1. With increased frequency of the #2 past Westboro, would that not serve trips to the west? It just moves from a dual spine of Scott and Wellington/Richmond to a single spine along the #2.

    I wonder if there enough people who take the #18 beyond the boundaries of the proposed #18 and #150 for it to be cost-effective for OC Transpo to retain this service. For example, only 8% of people were affected by the 2/12 split, according to OC Transpo’s studies.

    As for increased frequency of the #2, they are proposing to increase it from 2/hour beyond Westboro to 6/hour in rush hour and 4/hour at other times. If I still lived in the area and commuted downtown, I would love this.

    Back when I had to commute from that neighbourhood, you’d have to wait for the #18 (3/hour) or the #2 (2/hour), but instead of being an average of 12 minutes apart like you’d expect statistically, both would invariably come at the same time, and so the effective frequency was every 20 minutes. (And I always got there in time to wait at least 15 minutes). With better reliability due to the shorter #2 route, and with all four buses leaving Westboro on the same route (and thus in theory they should be more reliably spaced), wait times to leave Westboro station should be must better with this change.

    As for the #150, they’re effectively hub-and-spoking the #15 (rush-hour only route) and the #16, which the drivers on the OC Transpo Livejournal page say gets very little use outside rush hour.

    It is unfortunate, though, that the 18 and the 2 don’t connect. But I’m having difficulty figuring out why.

  2. Two issues here: one is the merit of the route changes as part of the overall switch to “transitway and feeder lines” routing. The other issue is that OC Transpo only seems to look at the system as a commute-to-the-downtown system (with maybe a nod to shoppers going to the Rideau Centre and market). They seem unaware of non-commuter users. And they ignore the impact of the changes on our neighborhoods, focussing instead on the commuter shed.

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