Transitway (Ottawa)

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Ottawa Transitway logo.png
OwnerCity of Ottawa
LocaleOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Transit typeBus rapid transit
Number of lines11
Number of stations44
WebsiteOC Transpo rapid network
Began operation1983
Operator(s)OC Transpo

The Transitway is a bus rapid transit network operated by OC Transpo in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It began service in 1983. Many of the Transitway roads are above or below the grade of normal streets in Ottawa, by the use of overpasses, bridges, and trench highways. Thus, they rarely intersect directly with the regular traffic, and make 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 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 (43–56 mph) between stations, and 50 km/h (31 mph) in the station areas.


The following routes are BRT routes, branded "Rapid" routes by OC Transpo; these routes travel on large stretches of the Transitway, or travel exclusively on the Transitway. [1]

61 - St-Laurent; Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Moodie; Eagleson; Terry Fox.[1]
62 - St-Laurent; Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Moodie; Eagleson (eastbound only); Teron; Terry Fox.[1]
63 - Lebreton to Bayview (peak periods only); Tunney's Pasture to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Queensway (Queensway - eastbound only); Pinecrest to Moodie; Eagleson (eastbound only); Teron; Innovation.
91 - Place d'Orléans; Jeanne d'Arc; Blair; St-Laurent (westbound only); Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Baseline.[1]
94 - Millennium; Blair; St-Laurent; Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Baseline; Hunt Club Road to Fallowfield; Nepean Woods; Riverview (Tunney's Pasture to Riverview - some trips only).
95 - Place d'Orléans; Jeanne d'Arc; Blair; St-Laurent; Lees (eastbound only); Lebreton to Dominion; Lincoln Fields to Baseline; Hunt Club Road to Barrhaven Centre (Baseline to Barrhaven Centre - most trips).
97 - South Keys to Lees and Laurier (Lees - eastbound only, after 10pm); Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture and Dominion; Lincoln Fields; Bayshore (Tunney's Pasture to Bayshore - most trips).
98 - South Keys to Greenboro and Lees (Lees - eastbound only); Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture (Greenboro to Tunney's Pasture - most trips).
99 - Barrhaven Centre to Marketplace; Beatrice; Nepean Woods; Riverview; Leitrim; South Keys to Greenboro and Laurier; Lebreton (Greenboro to Lebreton - peak periods only).

The following routes are other major crosstown routes that use small stretches of the Transitway:
6 - South Keys to Greenboro; Billings Bridge.
11 - Lincoln Fields; Tunney's Pasture.
16 - Lees; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture (Tunney's Pasture - westbound only); Lincoln Fields.
30 - Millennium; Jeanne d'Arc; Blair; St-Laurent; Laurier; Lebreton (St. Laurent to Lebreton - peak periods only) (Lebreton - eastbound only)
40 - Hurdman to Walkley (peak periods only); Greenboro to South Keys; St. Laurent via Elmvale.
44 - Billings Bridge to Walkley; Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton.
80 - Tunney's Pasture; Nepean Woods; Marketplace to Barrhaven Centre.[1]
85 - Lees; Lebreton; Lincoln Fields; Bayshore.
86 - Hurdman to Laurier; Lebreton to Tunney's Pasture; Baseline.
87 - Greenboro to South Keys; Billings Bridge to Hurdman and Laurier; Lebreton to Dominion; Baseline (Hurdman to Baseline - most trips).
88 - Billings Bridge to Hurdman; Baseline; Terry Fox.
92 - South Keys to Greenboro; Walkley to Hurdman.
96 - South Keys to Greenboro and Hurdman (Greenboro to Hurdman - peak periods only).
101 - St-Laurent; Hurdman to Lees; Queensway; Pinecrest to Bayshore; Moodie (peak periods only).
104 - Place d'Orléans; Hurdman; Carleton University.
111 - Billings Bridge; Baseline.

All Connexion routes also use the Transitway, mostly from downtown out towards the suburbs.

Some Greyhound intercity buses used the Transitway from St-Laurent to Laurier either to/from the city's main bus terminal.

2009 Transit Service Plan[edit]

In June 2006, the City of Ottawa released a 2009 service plan for O-Train LRT services, the Transitway and new bus routes. (This plan was cancelled shortly after the 2006 municipal election.)

To the west, there are new Moodie, Bells Corners, Queensway-Carleton, Hazeldean and Kanata North Transitway stops. To the south, there is a new Nepean Sportsplex stop, and proposed stops for Strandherd and Marketplace. To the east, the Southeastern transitway is extended to Hawthorne, and the Eastern to Blackburn Hamlet and beyond. To the north, there is a planned stop at the Les Terrasses Complex, it also investigates the possibility of transitway buses along Baseline, another downtown location, and from further east on the Queensway from Kirkwood all the way to Eagleson.

Central Transitway traffic issue[edit]

Bus congestion on the Central Transitway

The downtown section of the Transitway, the Central Transitway, consists of two 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 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 initial O-Train extension downtown.

The Confederation Line project will replace the downtown portion of the Transitway with an underground, high-capacity rapid transit rail line by 2019; the City of Ottawa has branded this conversion to light rail as #OnTrack2018.

Type of buses[edit]

OC Transpo articulated bus

All OC buses are now low floor "accessible" buses, with an aim to improve access to the service by the elderly and handicapped, and to speed up boarding by other passengers; most of these are high-capacity articulated buses. Route 61 (formerly known as route 96) has used the new Invero low-floor buses since September 2005 and route 101 (formerly known as route 99) since the start of spring 2006. Route 94 experimented with three Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double decker buses; the three demo models were sold to BC Transit in the summer of 2012, but OC Transpo purchased 135 more Enviro500 double decker for use on its express routes, of which 132 are in revenue service (bus 8017 was involved in a major accident with a Via Rail train on September 18, 2013 and is presumed retired), while bus 8010 was destroyed by a fire.


Southwest (94, 95, 99)[edit]

  • Barrhaven Centre - This is the terminus of most daytime of westbound route 95 and all route 95 overnight trips (route 95 runs 24/7). It was originally intended to be the future end of the City's O-Train route. Supplementary service is provided by routes 80, 99, 176, 305, and 406.
  • Marketplace - Located just north of Barrhaven Centre in the core of Barrhaven's shopping district. Most routes that serve Barrhaven Centre also serve Marketplace, as the two stations are near each other.
  • Strandherd - This station has the 95 running every 2–5 minutes during rush hour, and every 10–15 minutes outside rush hour. Supplemental services are provided by local routes 170 and 171, connexion routes 271 and 273, and event route 406; this site has roughly 300 parking spaces, later to be expanded as the need is demanded.
  • Longfields - This station acts as a local station, between two major populated areas. Routes 95, 271 and 273 serve this station.
  • Nepean Woods - Located at the corner of Woodroffe/Strandherd, this is the westerly terminus of some route 94 trips; most trips are extended to Riverview. Also served by route 99 as a result of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge. A park and ride lot opened here on 24 February 2014.[2] Served by routes 80, 94 and 99.
  • Beatrice - Opened on November 12, 2014 along a bus corridor on Chapman Mills Drive in central Barrhaven. Served by northbound route 80 and route 99.[3]
  • Fallowfield - Located at the corner of Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road in Barrhaven, beside Via Rail's Fallowfield Station. This station acts as the western terminus of route 95 trips not continuing to Strandherd, Longfields, Martketplace, and Barrhaven Centre. Northern terminus for Barrhaven local buses.
Fallowfield to near Nepean Sportsplex is along a $10 million isolated bus-only road (opened on December 13, 2005),[4] although this section has no stations and features a railway crossing, the first on the Transitway (this rail crossing however is slated to be grade separated after its notorious role in the Ottawa bus-train crash that killed 6 people). From Nepean Sportsplex to Baseline Station, buses run along Woodroffe Avenue in dedicated lanes, making several stops at regular bus stops.
  • Baseline - Located on Woodroffe Avenue across from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Western terminal of about half of all midday trips of Route 95; buses terminating here are marked "95X Baseline"; also served by cross-town routes 88 and 111, among several other local and express routes.
Beyond Baseline, the Transitway is fully isolated to Lincoln Fields, with the exception of an intersection at Iris Street.

West (61, 62, 63, 97)[edit]

  • Stittsville - Western terminus of some route 61 trips and most weekday route 62 trips. Located at Goulbourn Recreation Complex on Shea Road.
  • Terry Fox - Located adjacent the Kanata Centrum shopping centre at Kanata Avenue and Earl Grey Drive (near 417 and Terry Fox Drive). Most eastbound 61 trips begin here. Entered service in September 2004 with construction still having been underway at that time; it officially opened on February 22, 2005. Previously, a small terminal at Kanata Town Centre, on Katimavik Road, was used. Terminus of all Kanata local routes. Served by special route 404. Served by Connexion route 264
To this point the route is on non-dedicated street lanes along collector and arterial roads, much like a standard bus route. Regular stops are made between Stittsville and Eagleson. However, in the long range, there are possible plans to build a Transitway segment between the two stations.
  • Teron - Opened September 2007 and located north of the 417 near the corner of Campeau Drive and Teron Road, the gateway for the Transitway to the North in Kanata. Served by rapid routes 63 and 64 and local routes 164, 166 and 168. Connexion routes 265 and 268 serve here during both morning and afternoon peak.[2]
  • Eagleson - Park and Ride located at Eagleson Road and Highway 417. All morning Kanata connexion routes (and routes 267 and 269 in the afternoon), and routes 61, 63 and 64 (routes 63 and 64 eastbound only), serve this station, along with local routes 164, 166, 168, and special route 404.
The Transitway proper starts past Eagleson, with a dedicated lane on the 417. One stop is made (on request only via a special signal) at the Moodie Drive interchange.
  • Moodie - Located in Crystal Beach on a new Transitway segment between Moodie Drive and Holly Acres Road, and opened in December 2017. Served by routes 61, 62, 63, 64, 101, 103, 301, 303, 402, 404, and 454.
  • Bayshore - Located at the Bayshore Shopping Centre. Main Western terminus of route 97 and route 101.
The Transitway leaves the 417 at Bayshore and follows the northern edge of the 417 to Pinecrest Station before returning to dedicated lanes on Highway 417. There is no date on when the section between Pinecrest and the Southwest Transitway will be built.[3]
  • Pinecrest - located north of Highway 417 at the interchange with Pinecrest Road. East terminus of Scotiabank Connexion route 404. Served by routes 61, 62, 63, 64 and 101.

Central (all routes)[edit]

At Lincoln Fields, the West and Southwest branches merge.
From Lincoln Fields to Dominion, the Transitway travels the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in a shared traffic lane.
  • Dominion - Located off Dominion Avenue on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.
From Dominion to just past Tunney's Pasture Station, the Transitway runs in an isolated, below-grade road built along the alignment of a former railway line.
  • Westboro - Located on Scott Street in Westboro.
  • Tunney's Pasture - Located at Scott Street and Holland Avenue at the Tunney's Pasture government office complex. Main western terminus for routes 94 and 98, it also serves as an occasional terminus for route 97 as well as some rush hour trips of route 95.
Busses detour onto dedicated lanes on Scott Street at Tunney's Pasture due to the light rail construction.
Over the Mackenzie King Bridge, the Transitway continues in dedicated lanes. The isolated Transitway resumes at Waller Street.
Busses detour onto Nicholas Street to take dedicated lanes on the Queensway (Highway 417) to Hurdman and East Transitway stations.

East (61, 62, 91, 94, 95)[edit]

  • Train - Located at Via Rail's Ottawa Station on Tremblay Road. Relocated to Tremblay for Confederation Line construction starting on 28 June 2015.[1]
  • St. Laurent - Located at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre on St. Laurent Boulevard. Only operational underground station. Eastern terminus of crosstown route 101 except during rush hour. Eastern terminus of rapid-transit routes 61 and 62.
  • Cyrville - Located at Cyrville Road and the Queensway. Closed on 28 June 2015 for Confederation Line construction.[1]
  • Blair - Located at the Gloucester Centre on Blair Road.
Between Blair and Jeanne d'Arc, buses exit at Montreal Road to serve an ordinary bus stop.
  • Jeanne d'Arc - Provides supplemental parking spaces to the expanding suburb of Orléans (roughly 30 parking spaces).
  • Place d'Orléans - Located at the Place d'Orleans shopping complex in Orleans and is the main eastern terminus of route 91, 95, and 104.
There is no dedicated bus lane from Place d'Orleans to Trim, buses run in mixed traffic.
  • Trim - Located on Trim Road at Ottawa Road 174. This park-and-ride station is used by route 95 and 91 on weekdays; also served by route 22 and route 122.
  • Millennium - Intersection of Trim Road and Innes Road. This is the eastern terminus of rapid-transit route 94 and express routes 22 and 30.

Southeast (94, 97, 98, 99)[edit]

  • Lycée Claudel (formerly Abbey) - Located on old Riverside Drive across from the Lycée Claudel school.
  • Smyth - Located at Riverside Drive and Smyth Road.
  • Riverside - Located at the Riverside Campus of the Ottawa Hospital on Riverside Drive.
  • Pleasant Park - Located at Pleasant Park Road and Riverside Drive.
  • Billings Bridge - Located at the Billings Bridge Plaza on Bank Street.
  • Heron - Located at Heron Park on Heron Road.
  • Walkley - Located at Walkley Road and the Airport Parkway.
  • Greenboro - Located at Bank Street and Johnston Road at the north end of the South Keys shopping complex. Southern terminus of the O-Train Trillium Line. Occasional terminus for route 98 and main north terminus for route 99, as well as terminus for several local and crosstown routes.
  • South Keys - Located at Bank Street and the Airport Parkway at the south end of the South Keys shopping complex. Main east terminus of Route 97.
The isolated Transitway ends at Hunt Club road; 97 buses continuing to the Airport take the Airport Parkway. Note: Buses heading towards the airport after approximately 10:00 p.m. use Hunt Club and Uplands rather than the Airport Parkway.

See also[edit]

  • O-Train, OC Transpo's light rail transit system
Other bus rapid transit systems in Ontario


  1. ^ a b c d e f "OC Transpo - On Track 2018". OC Transpo. April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  2. ^ "OC Transpo - News". Retrieved 2014-02-19.
  3. ^ "OC Transpo - Bus-only lanes and new station for Barrhaven". OC Transpo. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  4. ^ OC Transpo What's New

External links[edit]