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Commuters prepare for OC Transpo bus changes

Major changes are coming to bus routes across the city as OC Transpo ends parallel service that had been operating since the launch of LRT last month.

More than 100 routes will change in some way as of Sunday—the most significant changes will be made to routes that run through the downtown core, as the Confederation Line is meant to get buses out of downtown.

Today is the last time 2,000 commuter buses are coming through our downtown. Starting Sunday, major bus changes will reveal the full benefits of LRT’s fast and reliable service + offer riders expanded bus service to many neighbourhoods, a $5.1 million/year investment in transit. pic.twitter.com/7Es0JdEpI8

— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) October 4, 2019

Some routes will be split up, some will be combined into other routes, and many routes in total will get new numbers.

A complete list of the changes can be found here.

In general, downtown routes will stop at either Tunney’s Pasture in the west end or Blair in the east end.

Some buses will continue to run in the downtown area, particularly overnight. For example: the Route 95 bus, which runs from Barrhaven to Place d’Orléans, is being split into two routes on Oct. 6: the 75 from Barrhaven to Tunney’s and the 39 from Orléans to Blair. However, the Confederation Line does not run between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., so those two new routes will take riders to Rideau St. during those overnight hours.

Buses to Gatineau are also changing. The traditional route to Gatineau, the 44, will now end at Hurdman Station. Riders will take the 85 during all time periods, or the 61, 63, 66, and 75 during peak periods. The 44 from Gatineau to Ottawa will be replaced by routes 15 and 17 that connect with the Lyon LRT Station.

“When this change comes I’ll have to take three buses and a train,” said Nancy Borgan who uses transit to visit her mother downtown three to four times a week.

“Right now it’s an hour and a half so I don’t know if it’ll be longer or shorter but it’ll mean that I have to get off and transfer more often and that’s not very convenient.”

Some riders are also considering other options.

“I’m hoping to get a car instead to make that easier instead of having to bus,” says Ashley Cote.

The city kept parallel service for three weeks after LRT launched on Sept. 14 at a cost of $1 million a week.