OC Transpo will begin increasing the frequency of bus and LRT service next week and expanding trips to local schools, universities and colleges just in time for the return to school.
The transit agency will begin its fall service on Monday after a summer schedule that saw reduced trips due to low ridership since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The following changes will be made once the fall schedule begins:
- Service on the Confederation Line will run every three to four minutes during the morning peak period.
- Select trip times on Routes 30 and 34 will be adjusted slightly to provide a more consistent frequency between trips.
- Weekday overnight service on Routes N39, N57, N75 and N97 will be adjusted to reduce wait times for connections downtown.
- Some trips on the following routes will be temporarily suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reduced ridership: 6, 7, 10, 12, 18, 25, 39, 40, 44, 61, 63, 66, 75, 87, 88, 93, 99, 111, 179, 234, 235, 236, 256, 257, 270, 272 and 277.
Special service for students
To serve Ottawa high school and middle school students, 600-series buses will resume and school stops will be added to other routes as well.
The departure time of some homebound trips will be adjusted to align with the earlier end of the school day at many high schools.
"We understand that many parents and students are feeling anxious about many aspects of the return to school," wrote John Manconi, the City of Ottawa's general manager of transportation services, in a memo to councillors. "OC Transpo's goal is to provide a safe, simple and stress-free return to school transportation."
Manconi said OC Transpo is working closely with the four Ottawa school boards to design transit schedules, and is ready to adjust service in the event of changes to school schedules.
The following changes will take place as part of the return to school service:
- At Place d'Orléans Station, some school routes will be reassigned to new stops.
- Routes serving post-secondary schools will return to fall service levels. Service will be increased on Routes 10 and 111 and Line 2 buses, serving Carleton University, and on Route 25, serving La Cité.
- The U-Pass program for full-time students at Algonquin College, Carleton University, Saint Paul University, and the University of Ottawa will also return this fall. Cards will be available for purchase starting Sept. 1.
Many students will receive Presto fare cards from their schools, and there will be a grace period for those who haven't received their cards yet. Students will be allowed to board after identifying themselves as students to OC Transpo employees.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, all riders are required to wear masks, and OC Transpo has installed protective shields to separate drivers from passengers. Staff are also doing enhanced cleaning of buses, and hand sanitizer dispensers have been set up in many stations.
OC Transpo is encouraging riders to visit octranspo.com and use its travel planner tool to see how their regular trips are affected by the return to fall schedules.
Schedules are also available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the four‑digit bus stop number, or first three letters of the station name.
Construction delays and Labour Day weekend
Construction projects continue this fall and will affect several routes, including:
- Rideau Street between Sussex Drive and Dalhousie Street — Routes 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 114, N39, N45, N57, N61, N75, N97, 602 and 624.
- Montreal Road between North River Road and St-Laurent Boulevard — Routes 12, 14, 15, 18 and 19.
- Old Richmond Road between West Hunt Club and Hope Side roads — Routes 252 and 256.
- Scott Street between Island Park Drive and Ross Avenue — Routes 16, 50, 81 and 153.
- Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre — Routes 11, 51, and 153.
On Labour Day weekend, OC Transpo routes will operate according to a Sunday schedule, and Para Transpo routes will implement a holiday schedule. Trains on the Confederation Line will run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Trillium Line buses will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Labour Day also marks the last day of special service on Routes 185, 25 and 139 to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Petrie Island.