Ottawa Transit Developments

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by Reecemartin, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Reecemartin

    Reecemartin Active Member

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    Since I think lots of people probably wouldn't mind seeing some updates on the OTrain (as we have seen with ION):

    Heres a video I recently made to show off Ottawas Rail Expansion:



    Theres also a fantastic site made by some people on the Ottawa forum dedicated to the OTrain with lots of pictures etc, take a look: https://www.otrainfans.ca/
     
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  2. drum118

    drum118 Superstar

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    Running trains on both tracks in the same direction at the same time, with a short gap between them.

    I regret that I didn't do a video of the buses on Slater as it was a zoo in off peak and why the need for the LRT.


     
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  3. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    I don't think Ottawa gets enough credit on the transit front.

    Think about this. Ottawa will spend $5.7 billion to build 48 km of fully segregated, grade-separated LRT in about 9 years of construction. For comparison, Eglinton costs $5.3 billion and takes 10 years (albeit with 3x the tunneling) for 19 km. What Ottawa is doing would not be possible with the effort they put into building a phenomenal BRT system over the last 3.5 decades. They showed how BRT could really be used to boost suburban ridership and to build corridors along with development. And they have transit modal usage for commuting nearly on par with Toronto and Montreal and far ahead of Vancouver and Calgary, as a result:

    https://humantransit.org/2010/10/further-cause-for-canadian-triumphalism.html

    With some fair credit to the federal government for really pushing transit use for public servants.

    Toronto could really use some of the wisdom here. Forget LRT in decades. Build curbside bus lanes and comfortable shelters on every major avenue in Toronto. That would go a long way to making transit more appealing in Toronto and boosting ridership.
     
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  4. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    ^Ottawa is unusually cheap since it is using a significant amount of existing infrastructure. No to little land acquisition, dozens of existing bridge structures, most grading is already complete, existing bus terminals for transfer connections, existing pedestrian bridges, etc., etc., etc.

    There are a few elements that are specifically expensive - such as the downtown tunnel, but much of it is more of a retrofit than a totally new line.
     
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  5. Randomguy

    Randomguy New Member

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    It is far more than a retrofit, and most structures/overpasses have been re-done, all the stations are brand new, etc and the alignment is subtlety different in many places. This is even more-so the case for Phase 2, where the transitway went along a freeway in the east and used things like the sir John A Parkway in the west (a very limited access road). So re-using the transitway ROW didn't save a ton of construction costs - and imposed some by needing demolition activities as well.

    What is true is that because the ROW was already there (and where it wasn't, tunnels have been used) that the cost of acquiring the ROW was very small (I believe a few properties were appropriated, but very few). This has for sure had a large impact on the overall cost.

    The other novel thing done by Ottawa is to do final vehicle assembly connected to the line. The Final assembly plant then becomes the maintenance facility. This means that the vehicles appear to be done on time, and that there is a reasonable chunk of people who are familiar with the vehicles to setup the maintenance program. I believe Toronto should follow the same concept on any future lines.....
     
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  6. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    There are a few structures rebuilt, yes.. it wasn't a full retrofit. But a significant amount of them were retained, and most of the ones retained would have been the most expensive to construct if starting from scratch (400 series underpasses, etc.).

    They are also retaining a pedestrian access bridge over the 417, a large bus terminal (St Laurent), etc.

    Most LRT construction costs come from actually creating a corridor for the LRT to run on, not the actual track costs. About 70% of the corridor for the Ottawa LRT came premade and ready. This significantly cuts cost. They made a some tweaks in many places, replaced a few bridges, but mostly just ripped up the asphalt and laid down some tracks.
     
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  7. aquateam

    aquateam Active Member

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    I'm just going to be pedantic for a minute.

    That article was written in 2010, with the results of the 2006 census. Vancouver has seen steady gains in its mode share year over year thanks to its land use policies and consistent expansion of its elevated, automated transit system.

    Public transit mode share:
    upload_2018-8-30_11-16-27.

    According to the latest census (2016) Vancouver has surpassed Ottawa's mode share:
    Vancouver - 40.6% sustainable, 20.4% public transit
    Ottawa - 40.0% sustainable, 18.3% public transit
     
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  8. rbt

    rbt Senior Member

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    While true, there are several pressures moving people to transit in Vancouver.

    In addition to increasing street congestion (which transit works around) residents are also putting a higher %age of salary into housing which leaves less money for vehicles. Plenty of previously 2 vehicle households now only have 1 and I expect a bunch have gone to no personal vehicles at all.
     
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  9. Randomguy

    Randomguy New Member

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    The 2016 Ottawa number is likely heavily influenced by the LRT construction which, by using the transitway, harmed the level of service. Another hidden downside/cost of the BRT to LRT conversion.
     
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  10. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    But this was exactly my point. Ottawa shows how to scale properly. It's far easier and cheaper to secure corridors, building BRT to new suburbs and subdivision, than building light rail. I don't think they intended it that way. But it worked out that way. And then created the conditions for them to switch to LRT later much more easily.
     
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  11. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    I suspect the closure of the Eastern Transitway had some impact on ridership in Ottawa. And I suspect we'll continue to see some depressed figures till the construction of the Western portions of the Confederation Line is complete.

    Also, it's quite interesting that Ottawa is able to get such ridership at half the population size of Vancouver. Ottawa is basically half way to European levels of transit usage. Something remarkable for a Canadian/US city of a million people. And I'd argue there's so many small fixes they could do with their bus service to boost transit usage substantially yet.
     
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  12. kEiThZ

    kEiThZ Senior Member

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    I expect we'll see a rebound in 2019. And then substantial acceleration of ridership in 2023 and beyond.

    If you look at ridership numbers, they've largely been flat around 97 million annually the last few years. I suspect a lot of that is due to a de facto capacity constraint through the downtown bus corridor. When the LRT opens, with 3 min peak service and 7 min rides through the core (vs. 20-30 mins), I suspect we'll see a lot more people take to transit.

    The real jump comes in 2023 when Orleans, Kanata and Nepean all get LRT.
     
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  13. smallspy

    smallspy Senior Member

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    That was absolutely the intent of building the Transitway - that it could be "converted" (however you wish to use that term) to LRT or some sort of rail-based, higher-capacity system when it was felt time to do so.

    There are certainly serious advantages to a BRT system as implemented in Ottawa, which is why they will continue to use the portions not being converted for the foreseeable future.

    Dan
    Toronto, Ont.
     
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  14. mdrejhon

    mdrejhon Senior Member

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    At age of 44, and born in Ottawa, so I've witnessed the evolution of the Transitway. Growing up, I lived and breathed BRT.

    Indeed, the construction eliminated the wonderful BRT temporarily.

    ...That first class BRT treatment. Ottawa has had the world's first BRT (1973) and then world's largest BRT (1983) for many years. The fancy modern fire-engine-red transitway stations with computerized next-bus arrival terminals in 1983. Public transit was treated like a first class citizen by Ottawa, with loving attention to route numbers.

    ...The latest tech. In 1983 at all the Transitway BRT stations you had CRT computer terminals showing next bus arrval! That's 35 years ago. Electronic next-bus arrival screens. Thirty Five (35) Years Ago. Transitway buses actually ran really tight to the clock almost Japanese-style timetable precision on Transitway. (Many of us were studiously picky, I always complained loudly as a kid if it rarely deviated more than a few mins. Transitway made it easy for bus drivers to adhere to a timestable without stressing bus drivers too much)

    ...That subway frequent service. If you were on the transitway, buses were guaranteed to be frequent and fast. At peak period, buses whooshed by every 2-3 minutes and you could just step onto any bus heading in the downtown direction without caring about the route number -- they would be going in the correct direction until at least downtown (or the Hurdman transfer station -- BRT fork/crossroads)

    ...That fast bus trip felt like a freeway for buses. Often, the buses whooshed 70kph down the straightaways between Transitway bus stops. I often got frequently whisked between downtown and St. Laurent Mall in roughly only 15 minutes, on time to watch the movie showtimes, whether it was Gremlins or Short Circuit or such. The small section of bus-congested downtown bus lane was a bone of contention at peak (surface crossings much like the downtown section of Calgary C-Train) but never really truly became truly intolerable until recent decades.

    ...That easy signage. Even back in 1983, route number signage was extremely easy to read, -- you could read route numbers from almost one bus stop down the street (making it much easier to decide which direction to walk if you walk to a street and find yourself between two suburban bus stops).

    [​IMG]

    I can't as easily identify bus routes on Toronto bus stops (nor Hamilton) from across the street, while it was always easy from a distance in Ottawa! ... Even that unsheltered rural bus stop pole had Canada's biggest bus stop signage.

    Sterling five-star route number signage department... Say and complain about OC Transpo, but big kudos credit where due to the hawkish bus stop signage department at OC Transpo that has, ceaselessly nitpicked the entire OC Transpo network to minimum route-number accuracy, readability, and clarity standards far beyond almost any North American city, par excellencé, bar none, full stop. Rural bus stop to suburb bus stop to trantitway bus stops, the bus stop signage was always consistent and clear on a guaranteed minimum quarter-square-meter-size sheet metal (guaranteed minimum surface area) that never got lost in background clutter of telephone poles, road signs, etc.

    Very clear bus shelter posters... When bus shelters existed, they always had pretty delightful detail (most of the time). Sometimes even computer printouts (dot matrix back then) in the 1980s of timetables on small slightly-below-eye-level affixments to unsheltered bus stop poles! Now they're fancy like this:

    [​IMG]

    Never felt lost in the pre-cellphone days. I never felt lost in Ottawa as a transit rider - I could confidenty at 10 years old (as a deafie unable to make phone calls until I was age 15) - take a bus anywhere in Ottawa, knowing I'd easily get home with the first-class treatment of route signage everywhere including bus network posters in nearly all bus shelters.

    You've got that tottally damn right... temporarily shutting down the BRT and detouring it over the main road network was royally painful, so I'm not surprised that ridership plummeted slightly when LRT construction shut down the BRT for construction. To Ottawa transit users, it almost feels like shutting down one side of Yonge Line for several years.

    But worth it... Excited for LRT!!! ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  15. Skeezix

    Skeezix Senior Member

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    I remember these.
     
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