Ottawa’s Transit Plan: Yesterday’s Solution Tomorrow

As others have mentioned, the City of Ottawa has put together four possible plans for public transit in 2031. The four plans cover the same ground, they

follow the current east/west arterials running parallel to the Ottawa river;
head south as far as Bowesville and Barrhaven Town Centre;
go north into Gatineau;
feature a tunnel though the downtown.

The only difference is the mode: the first plan is entirely bus, with each of the other three plans phasing in gradually more light rail. Plan four has the most track, featuring rail lines from the current Baseline station to Blair with a dogleg down to Bowesville and the airport.

If I sound unexcited about the plans, it’s because they’re all pretty much the same. Swap tracks for Transitway, and add a few percentage points of capitol and ongoing costs, and they’re basically the same plan: what we have now. Even the growth projections for transit trips downtown are ho-hum: they project an overall rise of transit use (heading into the downtown core) of 10%.

Tomorrow: suggestions for what a transit plan should include.