Changes to service to downtown Ottawa
New O-Train travel planner
The new OC Transpo's Ready for Rail Trip Planner is now available to simulate your trips once the O-Train is in service. If you plan to transfer between an STO bus and the O-Train, you can get an overview of your potential itinerary.
The arrival of the Confederation Line will result in changes to the OC Transpo system as well as the STO system. Service to downtown Ottawa will eventually be modified to make connections between the two systems easier.
When the O Train Confederation Line begins operating, Albert and Slater will be reconfigured for the STO service, among other things.
We have determined that it is better for STO buses to avoid this area during the work so as not to impede construction and to optimize the efficiency of the bus service provided for our clientele.
Major changes to the STO system in downtown Ottawa will be made later, depending on the progress of the work.
If you use the STO system only
There are no route changes for the moment.
If you normally transfer to the OC Transpo system
The OC Transpo system will be modified when the Confederation Line begins operation.
Do you live in Ottawa and use the STO system?
- 2019: Start of Confederation Line operation and changes to the OC Transpo bus system.
- Summer 2019: Modified itinerary for bus route 20.
- Later: Changes to all STO routes in downtown Ottawa. You will be informed in advance of the date of these changes.
Changes to the OC Transpo system when the Confederation Line begins operation
The O Train Confederation Line, also called Line 1, is a new light rail line that connects Tunney's Pasture in the west to Blair station in the east. The three downtown stations – Lyon, Parliament/Parlement and Rideau – are underground.
Line 1 is slated to start service in 2019. When it opens, the OC Transpo bus system will be modified.
Initially, STO buses will continue to run along Wellington. Transfers between the two systems will be possible, namely at Rideau station or Tunney's Pasture station.
***More information to come**
Changes to STO service in downtown Ottawa
The STO buses will take 3 different routes through downtown Ottawa that will all connect with Lyon station on the Confederation Line:
Regular routes and some major peak routes will go to the Mackenzie King Bridge via the Portage Bridge and Wellington, Lyon and Slater (the current Transitway). In the Gatineau direction, the routes will run along Albert, Kent and Queen before returning to Lyon. .
Routes on this circuit: 23, 24, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 371, 38, 55, 59, 67, 87, 200 and 400.
The peak routes for Aylmer and Plateau will do a loop via Lyon, Slater, Bank and Wellington.
Routes on this circuit: 22, 25, 26, 29, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48.
The peak routes for the Hull, Gatineau, Buckingham and Masson-Angers sectors will do a loop via Wellington, Bank, Queen and Lyon.
Routes on this circuit: 11, 17, 20*, 27, 85, 88, 93, 94, 95 and 98.
* Note that the itineray for bus route 20 will be modified as of summer 2019.
The STO routes will not be modified on the Quebec side.
Most recent map at the time of publication – July 2019. Subject to change.
Fares and valid fare payments
There are no special fares to ride the O Train.
Currently, several types of fares allow you to use both systems. This will still be the case:
- If you travel with a pass on a smart card (monthly or annual pass, Cam-Puce pass or U Pass), you can travel on both systems without any restrictions.
- E passes valid for 1 or 3 days (Passe-temps and L'Escapade) must first be validated on an STO bus before they can be used without restrictions on both systems.
- If you use the e wallet, you can travel on the OC Transpo system after validating your Multi Card on an STO bus, which entitles you to an e transfer that is valid for two hours.
IMPORTANT: Because the e wallet is not accepted for starting a trip on the OC Transpo system, you must pay the fare for the trip at the O Train ticket machines, pay cash on the bus, or use the e Purse on the Presto card.
- On June 23, a new transfer was introduced on STO buses. It has a QR code, which is a type of barcode consisting of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background. This QR code will allow STO riders to access the O-Train stations. To use it, the transfer will be valid for 2 hours within which riders must scan the barcode at one of the fare gates at the stations.
Riders can now also use this transfer with the QR code to travel on the Trillium Line in Ottawa's light rail system, and will be able to do the same once the Confederation line is operational.
Visit How will I get through the gate to learn more.
Information for OC Transpo clientele
OC Transpo will continue to offer service to the downtown Hull sector on routes 61, 63, 66, 75 and 85 from Pimisi station via Chaudière, and on routes 15 and 17 via the Portage Bridge.
You can also use the STO services to Gatineau. During peak periods, routes 20, 34, 55, 59 and 400 will go from Ottawa to Gatineau in the morning and from Gatineau to Ottawa in the afternoon via the Portage Bridge. They all serve Terrasses de la Chaudière.
The routes in downtown Ottawa will be modified gradually to accommodate connections with the O-Train:
- Currently, all STO routes run along Wellington.
- Bus route 20 will run along Bank, Queen and Lyon starting summer 2019.
- Route 400 will provide a connection to the OC Transpo system on Rideau and Wellington in the Hull direction and the National Defence building on Carrière. Routes 34, 55 and 59 are another option in the Terrasses de la Chaudière direction.
- Later, all STO routes that go to Ottawa will serve Lyon station.
Valid fare payments on the STO system
If you have a monthly pass on the PRESTO card, you can use both systems without any restrictions.
If you use a PRESTO e-Purse or cash to board the OC Transpo system, you can transfer to an STO bus. To start a trip on the STO system, you can pay cash or get an Occasional Multi card that you can load at a retail outlet or online once you have created a Profile.
Customer questions and comments
In June, we asked our rider panel members for their opinion on the new service to downtown Ottawa. Their comments have allowed us to understand your concerns. You will find answers to your questions below!
- What measures will be taken to assist riders with the changes?
- Will STO riders be able to transfer to the O-Train?
- Will buses be slowed by traffic congestion and traffic lights? Will they be able to make the turns?
- Will there be more riders at the stops?
- Will the OC Transpo system be modified?
- Will the routes also be modified on the Quebec side?
- Will the frequency of STO buses be reduced?
- Will fares increase?
1-What measures will be taken to assist riders with the changes?
While many riders will be taken closer to their final destination, some will have the option to walk or to transfer, but to a high frequency service such as the O-Train or another STO bus route. Several weeks before the changes take effect, Plani-Bus will recommend the best options for your trips.
Furthermore, ample signage will also be provided to help you find your way to the light rail stations and STO stops. For instance, in the O-Train stations, screens will display the real time that STO buses will be passing at nearby stops. More details will be made available over the next few months.
2-Will STO riders be able to transfer to the O-Train?
Currently, STO transit passes and tickets entitle you to a valid transfer for STO and OC Transpo services. This will still be the case:
- Riders using a pass on a smart card (monthly or annual pass, Cam-Puce pass or U-Pass) can travel on both systems without any restrictions.
- E-passes valid for 1 or 3 days (Passe-temps and L'Escapade) must first be validated on an STO bus before they can be used without restrictions on both systems.
- Riders using the e-wallet can travel on the OC Transpo system after validating their card on an STO bus, which entitles them to an e-transfer that is valid for two hours. However, the e-wallet is not accepted for starting a trip on the OC Transpo system.
- Riders who pay cash or with a bus tcket will be given a transfer tickets with a QR code, giving them access to the O-Train stations.
3-Will buses be slowed by traffic congestion and traffic lights? Will they be able to make the turns?
We are currently working with our OC Transpo colleagues on the street configuration along the three routes that will be taken by STO buses. Some work has already started, and traffic studies have been completed. In light of the results, several measures will be implemented to make travel easier for the buses, such as changing the geometry and layout of streets, and synchronizing traffic lights. This will all be announced in the next few months.
Don't forget that the volume of OC Transpo buses will decrease considerably in downtown Ottawa once the Confederation Line begins operation.
4-Will there be more riders at the stops?
STO riders will be distributed among more stops, with 9 stops instead of the current 6. In addition, few stops will be shared by OC Transpo and STO buses, since OC Transpo's downtown service will be completely revised. The platforms will also be longer, making it easier to board.
5-Will the OC Transpo system be modified?
Yes, the OC Transpo bus system will be modified, in particular downtown. The details of the changes will be announced by OC Transpo in the next few months, and we will post the information at sto.ca. You can visit OC Transpo's “Ready for Rail” site to learn more.
6-Will the routes also be modified on the Quebec side?
No, there will be no route changes, except for some minor adjustments.
7-Will the frequency of STO buses be reduced?
No, the frequency will remain the same. As always, the service will be adapted based on demand by using articulated buses or adding trips when necessary.
8-Will fares increase?
The fare schedule is adjusted annually, but the new service to downtown Ottawa will not generate an additional fare increase.
Thank you for your usual cooperation!