Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission Bus Stops
Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission or OC Transpo has had 3 main variety of signage throughout it's history. They have all been the same size of metal plate but different faces applied to them. However Transitway Stations have always had a different size of sign which is bigger then the standard stop, but recently OC Transpo has started using regular flags at some of the newer stations.
One big difference between most transit systems and OC Transpo is that every stop in the OC Transpo system lists every route that serves it except for school specials which are only listed when they are the only routes serving the stop. Another exception would be detours but in recent years OC has been putting the numbers on detour stops when the detour is long term.
One more exception to the policy stated above is that on the recently introduced Rural Shopper Special routes, is that in the urban transit area, some of the stops that are serviced by regular routes do not list the rural shopper specials as a route.
OC Transpo has quite a large variety of mounting methods that are used. Here are some examples:
- Mounted to a utility pole: This method is most common when there is a pole such as a street lamp, power pole, or traffic light pole. When it is mounted to a wooden power pole, it is typically attached using two wooden screws but when attached to either a street lamp or traffic light pole which is typically either made of cement or metal, metal straps are used.
- Strapped to an OC pole: This method is probably the most commonly used stop mounting method that OC Transpo uses. This is where the stop is attached using two metal straps to attach it to a circular pole. The pole it's self is mounted to the ground in 2 different fashions. Most common is by digging a hole in the ground and securing the pole with cement. The other is by drill 4 bolts into the ground and securing it with nuts. Another method that isn't as common is to attach it to an existing street sign using metal straps.
- Mounted to a wheelbase OC pole: This method is mainly used for temporary stops or stops that were recently introduced where they haven't had a chance to install a permanent pole yet. All this involves is a OC pole is welded to a decommissioned bus rim.
Original 560+ Flags
These flags were quite basic in design in that they were mainly white with a few red stripes. These were used from 1980 when the 560 stop information was introduced until 2000, when "560 plus" was changed to "560-1000 plus". They had a 4-digit number just like every other stop since this series.
When the 560-1000 system was introduced, OC Transpo went on a replacement spree to replace all these stops fairly quickly. The 4-digit number was also changed on most stops when the system was upgraded. The reason this change was required was because in area's where stops were repeated with the same routes servicing them, the same "560+" number was repeated for those stops so to save on numbers. However with 560-1000, this was not required so each stop got it's own individual number.
When the "560 plus" system was changed to "560-1000 plus", the stops had to change to accommodate the change. Also at the same time OC Transpo recently introduced the Maple Leaf Livery and decided to change the design of the flag to match. This stop as it was introduced just prior to municipal amalgamation, had become a icon of the newly amalgamated City of Ottawa's transit system which went through some rough times in the early years of amalgamation as a result of municipal budget cuts. The earlier versions of these stops also had a yellow/orange "sun" to denote that the stop received early morning service. This disappeared though later on.
One modification was done to the flag design in the now former Nortel Carling Campus to match the signage style that they already had in place. It kept the standard OC design but was in the shape of the signage at Nortel. These signs were eliminated when OC updated the stops for September 4, 2011 and were replaced with the standard stops.
Current "OC Sweep" Flags
These were introduced in August 2010 with the installation of one in front of 805 Belfast. These stops were in OC's recently introduced "Sweep" style which was a scheme to standardize everything corporate related into a standard style. These stops didn't really become wide-spread until September 4, 2011 when a major service change caused OC to change most of the stops because instead of changing the information on existing stops, they opted to replace the stop entirely with this new style. Only place these stops aren't is locations that haven't experienced any need to change the flag (e.g. streets that haven't had a service change recently, stops that haven't been involved in a car collision, etc).
A unique sign in Manotick which is stop 5948, is usually small compared to all the rest of the stops in Ottawa.
Another change is that they took into account is the fact that as of June 17, 2006, 10-digit dialing came into effect in Ottawa causing many businesses to add "613-" in front of the phone numbers. OC Transpo only took this into account when these stops were introduced by changing the "560-1000" to "613-560-1000". The 4-digit stop numbers were not changed when these signs were introduced.
Most commonly used style of flag is a big rectangular red box which is typically hung from a upside down "L" shaped pole. If in a Transitway shelter this style of flag is usually mounted to the support bars of the shelter.
However a more temporary style has been becoming more common which is to attach a regular flag to the stop and attach a black plate to the opposite side which denotes the stop number. This appears to be more common at newer transitway stops. Though now at some stops which had this style of flag is being changed to the rectangular red box flag again (e.g. Jeanne d'Arc, Woodroffe).
Stop Not In Use Flag Cover
Introduced in 2014 with the construction of Gladstone between Bank and Elgin. These flag covers replaced the black garbage bags that OC used to wrap the flags in during long term construction detours. They resemble the new "OC Sweep" style of stop flags, but replace the entire text with "Stop Not In Use".
Unlike the black garbage bag wraps that OC used to use, these are able to be reused after they've served their purpose. This is good since the City of Ottawa reconstructs roads every year, causing OC to detour.
Temporary Flags at OC Transpo can come in two different forms. One is a laminated piece of paper which just says "Bus Stop". The other is a actual bus stop flag which says "Temporary Bus Stop" that is usually mounted to a wheelbase for temporary usage. The laminated piece of paper is rarely used whereas the wheel base is the more commonly used temporary flag.
Temporary Stop Flag (wheelbase version)
As mentioned earlier, this is the most commonly used form of temporary bus stops since it has a actual bus stop flag attached to it. This makes it easier for both bus drivers and passengers to realize it is a bus stop.
Temporary Stop Flag (metal temporary sign version)
This is a recent (2012) addition to the supervisor equipment which errects a actual bus stop flag in any location at any given time. This is the replacement for the paper temporary stop signs since this can be more easily spotted by the public as it is a recongizible sign. The metal pole the flag is attached to is similar to the temporary signs used at some of the construction sites which have 4 legs and is spring loaded to resist the wind.
Temporary Stop Flag (paper version)
This is rarely used form of temporary bus stop but can be used in the event of a emergency requirement for a bus stop. It is part of the "Stop not in use" notice. These are the size of a notice or map to fit in the Infobox found at some stops. When these were updated to the "OC Sweep", they actually are now made of the ad-rack type material and are no longer paper.
Stop Not In Use Notice
On the back side of the paper temporary stop flag is a "Stop Not In Use" notice. It is 1/3 English at the top, 1/3 white space to write in the information in the middle, and 1/3 French at the bottom. The newer ones are in OC's standard "sweep" style. Just like the paper temporary stop flag, these can fit in a Infobox found at some stops.