Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission Transitway (BRT)
The Transitway is Ottawa's implementation of bus rapid transit with many of the Transitway roads above or below the grade of normal streets in Ottawa, by the use of overpasses, bridges, and trench highways. Buses rarely have to intersect directly with the regular traffic thus making it possible for the buses (and emergency vehicles) to continue at full speed even during rush hour.
Buses that travel on the Transitway can cross very long distances (especially outside the downtown area) without stopping for a single traffic light. Most sections of the Transitway have a speed limit of 70-90 km/h (45-55 mph) between stations, and 50 km/h (30 mph) in the station areas. In essence, the Transitway is basically like a expressway, but for buses only.
The Transitway opened between Lees and Hurdman, and Lincoln Fields and Baseline in 1983, along with the Billings Bridge transit terminal, and downtown service was changed as the formerly bus-only "bus mall" on Rideau Street between Sussex and Waller was open to all traffic. Lebreton, Tunney's Pasture, and Westboro were inaugurated as stations in 1984 with the opening of the Transitway between Lebreton and the Ottawa River Parkway (present-day Dominion Station). 1987 brought the opening of the Transitway between Hurdman and St. Laurent Stations, including the tunnel below the St. Laurent Shopping Centre, and route 95's headway was increased to four minutes during peak hours and five minutes off-peak. The section between St. Laurent and Blair would be completed in 1989. The 31km Transitway approved in 1978 was finally completed in 1996 with the opening of the southeast Transitway between Hurdman and South Keys. A two-lane 1.8 km stretch from Bayshore Station to Pinecrest Station was opened on September 6, 2009. The section between Barrhaven Centre and Fallowfield opened April 22, 2011.
On November 12, 2014, Ottawa opened the first section of a median busway along Chapman Mills Drive from Woodroffe Avenue to Beatrice Drive. It is being considered part of the Rapid Transit Network, and there are many more planned median busways in the works. The Chapman Mills Busway was originally supposed to be part of the 2006 LRT project that was cancelled by City Council.
In 2015, construction on the Confederation Line LRT project resulted in the closure of the Transitway from Blair to Hurdman Station on June 28. This was made possible by the addition of bus-only lanes on the 417 and 174 between Nicholas and Blair. This is the first section of Transitway to be closed for permanent conversion to LRT, which is going to be operating between Blair and Tunney's Pasture starting in 2018. Stage 2 will result in further expansions east towards Place d'Orleans, and west towards Baseline & Bayshore.
Dates of openings (list not complete)
|Date||Section||Length of section||Stations opened||Details|
|???, 1983||Baseline - Ottawa River Parkway||3.3 km||Baseline, Iris, Queensway, Lincoln Fields||Originally this section was supposed to be the alignment of the "Western Parkway" which was going to form a ring road around Ottawa. This parkway would have been built by the National Capital Commission (NCC)|
|???, 1983||Lees - Hurdman||1.5 km||Hurdman, Lees||Originally the location of a major railway junction where multiple railways met to join up and head towards Downtown Ottawa. Hurdman was already a transit terminal prior to becoming a Transitway Station. A bridge was built along this section to cross the Rideau River|
|???, 1983||Albert & Empress - Booth||0.2 km||Lebreton||Very small section of Transitway|
|November 12?, 1984||Ottawa River Parkway - Booth||4.5 km||Westboro, Tunney's Pasture||Built along the former "CP Carleton Place Subdivision", which the last part of it was torn up in 1982|
|November 17, 1987||Hurdman - Michael Street||2.7 km||Train, St. Laurent||First section of Transitway to feature a tunnel|
|???, 1989||Michael Street - Blair||3.0 km||Cyrville, Blair||Nothing of very important significance to note along this section of Transitway|
|???, 1990?||Lees - Laurier||1.1 km||Campus, Laurier||Unknown when it exactly opened, but it was definitely opened prior to 1991|
|???, 1991?||Hurdman - Riverside Hospital||1.9 km||Abbey, Smyth, Riverside||Unknown when it exactly opened, but it was definitely opened prior to 1991. Abbey was renamed to Lycée Claudel in September 2002|
|September 2, 1995||Billings Bridge - Hunt Club||4.8 km||Heron, Walkley, Greenboro||Even though the section through South Keys Station opened up, the station it's self didn't open up until later.|
|November 20, 1995||Eagleson East Park & Ride||N/A||Eagleson East|
|June 23, 1996||South Keys Station||N/A||South Keys||Now South Keys is open|
|November 2, 1996||Riverside Hospital - Billings Bridge||1.7 km||Pleasant Park, Billings Bridge||The CN Smith Falls Subdivision had to be realigned in order to build the Transitway, which was built where the former railway was located. At the same time, the CN Rail Bridge over Bank Street was quite old and required work, so CN took this as a chance to replace the bridge completely. Once again, the Transitway Bridge was located where the former CN Rail Bridge was over Bank Street. Interesting enough, this section remained in CN hands until 2010, despite CN not running a train over it for a while. The line is now owned by VIA Rail Canada. Billings Bridge was already a bus terminal prior to this section opening (lower level)|
|November 29, 1999||Dominion Station||N/A||Dominion||Opened where the Transitway meets the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway|
|October 29, 2000||Fallowfield Station||N/A||Fallowfield||Route 95 was extended to serve Fallowfield on December 30, 2000|
|December 14, 2000||Bayshore Station||N/A||Bayshore|
|October 15, 2001||Bayview Station||N/A||Bayview||Bayview Station is opened between Tunney's Pasture and Lebreton as part of the new O-Train line|
|September 1, 2003||Telesat Park & Ride||N/A|
|November 3, 2003||Eagleson West Park & Ride||N/A||Eagleson West|
|February 22, 2005||Terry Fox Station||N/A||Terry Fox||Park & Ride opened September 5, 2004 with temporary stops set up inside the Park & Ride.|
|December 14, 2005||Nepean Sportsplex - Fallowfield||3.2 km||Built with a project to expand Woodroffe Avenue from 2 to 4 lanes. First and (so far) only section of Transitway to feature a railway grade crossing|
|September 6, 2009||Pinecrest - Bayshore||1.8 km||Pinecrest||First true transitway section of the planned "Western Transitway"|
|April 22, 2011||Fallowfield - Barrhaven Centre||4.0 km||Longfields, Marketplace, Barrhaven Centre||With this extension to Barrhaven Centre, 24/7 route 95 service was extended to Barrhaven Centre|
|April 21, 2013||Nepean Woods||N/A||Nepean Woods||Originally was supposed to be part of the 2006 LRT project|
|November 12, 2014||Beatrice - Nepean Woods||0.7 km||Beatrice||First section of median busways in Ottawa. Runs in the median of Chapman Mills Drive. Was originally supposed to be part of the 2006 LRT project|
|December 24, 2017||Moodie||2.0 km||Moodie||Will be replaced with LRT as part of Stage 2|
Dates of closures for the Confederation Line construction
|Date||Section||Length of section||Stations affected||Details|
|June 28, 2015||Hurdman - Blair||5.1 km||Train, St. Laurent, Cyrville (Completely closed), Blair||This is the first section of Transitway to be converted to rail for the Confederation Line. Transitway service was rerouted onto newly constructed bus-only lanes on the 417 and 174.|
|December 20, 2015||Lees - Hurdman||0.7 km||Lees||Transitway service was rerouted onto Highway 417 between Nicholas and Riverside.|
|April 24, 2016||Laurier - Lees||1.45 km||Campus||Transitway service was rerouted onto newly constructed bus-only lanes on Nicholas Avenue or on King Edward Avenue and Laurier Avenue (Routes 85, 95, 98).|
Map below is clickable
The following routes are high-frequency routes that travel along the Transitway:
- 93 - Lebreton to Eagleson (Lebreton to Lincoln Fields peak-periods only)
- 94 - Blair to Fallowfield, Nepean Woods
- 95 - Trim to Barrhaven Centre
- 96 - Blair to Queensway, Pinecrest to Bayshore, Eagleson, Terry Fox, Scotiabank Place (96A only), Stittsville
- 97 - South Keys to Lincoln Fields, as well as Bayshore
- 98 - South Keys to Tunney's Pasture
- 99 - Lebreton to Riverview (Lebreton to Greenboro peak-periods only)
- 101 - St. Laurent to Lees, as well as Queensway, Pinecrest to Bayshore.
- 102 - Place d'Orleans to Lees, and Tunney's Pasture.
- 106 - Hurdman to Smyth.
The following routes are other major crosstown routes that use significant stretches of the Transitway:
- 4 - Heron to Hurdman.
- 8 - Lebreton to Hurdman and Walkley to Billings Bridge.
- 85 - Bay to Hurdman (Mackenzie King to Hurdman weekdays only except evenings).
- 86 - Tunney's Pasture to Hurdman.
- 87 - Heron to Dominion and South Keys to Greenboro.
- 114 - Hurdman to St. Laurent and South Keys to Greenboro.
- 116 - Hurdman to South Keys (Greenboro to Hurdman peak-periods only).
- 118 - Terry Fox, Baseline, and Heron to Hurdman.
Most peak-only and express routes also use the Transitway, mostly from downtown out towards the suburbs. Routes 20-39 go towards Orleans, 40-49 go towards South Keys, 60-69 go towards Kanata, and 70-79 go towards Barrhaven. Some Greyhound intercity buses use the Transitway from St-Laurent to Laurier either to/from the city's main bus terminal.
Central Transitway traffic issue
The downtown section of the Transitway, the Central Transitway, consists of a couplet of single bus-only lanes on Albert and Slater Streets (one-way public streets in opposite east and west directions). Traffic congestion here, where the buses mingle with private vehicles, sometimes causes service delays and is seen by some as the main weakness in the Transitway system. The Transit Committee had planned to reduce the number of buses travelling on Albert and Slater streets by 30% if the extension of the light-rail was implemented. Other measures may be implemented to avoid traffic problems despite the cancellation of the O-Train extension downtown.
As of December 31, 2009.
- Weekday passenger volume: 240,000
- Peak hour one-way passenger volume: 10,500
- Buses per peak hour, through central area: 180
- Number of stations: 41
- Bike & Ride locations: 32
- Cumberland Transitway Extension (Trim Road to Frank Kenny Road)
- West Transitway Extension (Bayshore Station to Moodie Drive)
Extensions in progress
- Southwest Transitway Extension (Baseline Road to Norice Street)
- Southwest Transitway Extension – Fallowfield Road to Chapman Mills Drive
- , www.octranspo.com, retrieved on 2010-07-26
- City of Ottawa - Cumberland Transitway Extension, ottawa.ca, retrieved on 2011-12-26
- City of Ottawa - West Transitway Extension, ottawa.ca, retrieved on 2011-12-26
- Southwest transitway Extenssion, ottawa.ca, retrieved on 2011-12-26
- Southwest transitway Extenssion, ottawa.ca, retrieved on 2011-12-26