OC Transpo extends O-Train Line 2 bus loop

May 30, 2024
The extension features three Park & Rides, new multi-use pathways and many bus connections that will help improve the rider experience.

OC Transpo in Ottawa, Ontario, has extended the O-Train Line 2 bus loop to feature three Park & Rides, new multi-use pathways and many bus connections that will help improve the rider experience. 

As part of New Ways to Bus, the agency’s future bus network is being reconfigured to take advantage of an expanded O-Train network. Bus loops have been constructed at Leitrim, Bowesville and Limebank stations to facilitate bus-to-rail transfers. Earlier this year, OC Transpo performed bus loop operational testing at the three stations. 

OC Transpo notes bus loops are found at several key transfer stations across the city of Ottawa. The loops are designed to connect customers conveniently and efficiently between different transit routes and modes (bus-to-bus and bus-to-rail transfers). 

The agency says the bus routes are strategically assigned and grouped based on origins, destinations and common corridors. Bus loops can also improve service reliability by providing dedicated space for buses and avoiding unpredictable conflicts with general traffic in areas adjacent to O-Train stations outside of bus loops. 

OC Transpo notes many bus loops include space for buses to stop and wait, whether to accommodate operator breaks or simply recover time between trips. Providing these facilities near the transit station reduces the travel distance between the break location and the bus stop, helping trips start on time. 

Bus loop operational testing 

OC Transpo says bus loop testing involves simulating future bus service under various scenarios and allows OC Transpo staff to ensure construction matches design, validate bus loop capacity and bus movements, confirm bus routes are assigned to the best stops and to collect travel time data to help inform future schedules. 

The tests' main objective was to ensure efficient and reliable bus service can be provided within the new bus loops when they are opened.  

OC Transpo notes a critical component of bus loop testing is confirming bus stop assignments. During testing, the agency identified which locations in the bus loop experienced congestion, conflicting or challenging movements and adjusted bus platform stop assignments. 

Testing also allowed OC Transpo to collect travel time data for how long it takes a bus to circulate through the station, to help validate future schedules and improve service reliability and on-time performance, ultimately improving the overall customer experience. 

The completion of bus loop testing at Leitrim, Bowesville and Limebank stations marks a significant milestone towards passenger service on O-Train Line 2.