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Downtown Ottawa STO bus service changes coming this spring

These changes will reduce peak hour bus volumes in downtown Ottawa by 75 per cent from their 2018 levels.
2019-03-22 gatineau sto bus
Gatineau STO bus. Photo/ STO

La Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) services with the O-Train that connect to downtown Ottawa are set to kick in come spring.

According to a memo sent out to city council from John Manconi, general manager of transportation services on Thursday, those STO service changes at Lyon Station will start on June 21.

With this change, Manconi said all STO buses entering Ottawa via the Portage Bridge will connect with O-Train Line 1 at Lyon Station.

These STO routes will follow one of three paths in Ottawa to make sure that the buses can move easily through traffic.

Several STO routes will turn south on Lyon from Wellington and will continue east on Slater and north on Bank, returning to Gatineau via Wellington.

Another group of STO routes will turn south on Bank from Wellington and will continue west on Queen and north on Lyon, returning to Gatineau via Wellington.

The remaining STO routes will turn south on Lyon from Wellington, continuing east on Slater and the Mackenzie King and Albert, then north on Kent and west on Wellington to return to Gatineau.

“These changes will improve service for OC Transpo customers by providing frequent and convenient connections from O-Train Line 1 to both STO and OC Transpo buses to destinations in Gatineau at Lyon Station,” Manconi explained.

These buses, he added, will serve riders at bus stops on either Lyon or Kent, north of Queen.

Customers transferring from OC Transpo routes 6, 7, 11, 12, 18 and 19 to STO buses can do so at Parliament Station, using bus stops on Bank north of Queen.

The changes will also improve service for STO customers by giving them convenient connections to O-Train Line 1 at Lyon and Parliament Stations, and by removing bus operations from the congested part of Wellington, east of Bank, Manconi said.

“OC Transpo and STO services are highly integrated for travel anywhere in Ottawa-Gatineau urban area,” Manconi wrote. “Customers who hold a monthly pass from, or purchase a single-ride fare, on either system are able to transfer to the other system to complete their trips.”

With the changes to STO routes, a reconfiguration of bus operations in downtown Ottawa — which started with OC Transpo bus route changes before opening the O-Train Line 1 — will be complete.

Other than westbound OC Transpo buses approaching Parliament Station and a small number of STO buses repositioning out of service, there will be no regular bus operations on Wellington between Elgin and Bank, Manconi said.

The STO routes extending to Mackenzie King Bridge and the University of Ottawa will operate on Albert and Slater streets, at a much lower volume than the former Transitway operation.

Overall, Manconi said, peak hour bus volumes in downtown east of Bank street — for both OC Transpo and STO — will be reduced by about 75 per cent from their 2018 levels.

There are no changes to routes serving Tunney’s Pasture Station.

Some STO buses will continue to operate on Boteler, Susses, King Edward, Rideau and Waller to travel to or from the Mackenzie King Bridge.

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