Transitway (Ottawa)

The Transitway is a bus rapid transit network operated by OC Transpo in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It began service in 1983. Many of the Transitway roads are above or below the grade of normal streets in Ottawa, by the use of overpasses, bridges, and trench highways. Thus, they rarely intersect directly with the regular traffic, and make it possible for the buses (and emergency vehicles) to continue at full speed even during rush hour. Buses that travel on the Transitway can cross long distances (especially outside the downtown area) without stopping for a single traffic light. Most sections of the Transitway have a speed limit of 70–90 km/h (43–56 mph) between stations, and 50 km/h (31 mph) in the station areas.

OwnerCity of Ottawa
LocaleOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Transit typeBus rapid transit
Number of lines11
Number of stations44
WebsiteOC Transpo rapid network
Began operation1983
Operator(s)OC Transpo
System map


The following routes are BRT routes, branded "Rapid" routes by OC Transpo. These routes travel on large stretches of the Transitway, or travel exclusively on the Transitway.

# Terminus Terminus Notes Map
 39  Millennium Blair
 39  La Cité
Replaces route 95 between Blair station and Trim station, but will follow route 22 routing to/from Millennium station via Trim. Select trips will extend to/from La Cité collegiale and Samuel Genest school. Overnight extension to Rideau Station numbered N39.
 45  General Hospital Hurdman Operates 24/7 between Hurdman station and the Ottawa Health Sciences Complex. Overnight extensions to Rideau numbered N45.
 57  Bells Corners
Tunney's Pasture Replaces the western portion of current route 97 via the same routing. Select trips start/end at Bayshore station. Overnight extension to Rideau Station numbered N57.
 61  Terry Fox, Stittsville Tunney's Pasture
 61  Gatineau
Route 61C trips during the morning peak period travel directly from Castlefrank to Highway 417 and Eagleson, bypassing Katimavik and Terry Fox. Route 61C trips during the afternoon peak period serve Katimavik, but do not serve Castlefrank north of Katimavik, or Terry Fox station. Route 61D trips during morning peak travel via Highway 417 between Castlefrank and Eagleson station. Early morning trips travel via Pinecrest Garage on Queensview.
 62  Terry Fox
 62  Stittsville
Tunney's Pasture Before noon on weekdays, eastbound buses travel via Fringewood between Abbott E. and Hazeldean, while westbound buses travel via Iber. After noon on weekdays, buses follow the reverse direction on both roads.
 63  Innovation Tunney's Pasture
 63  Gatineau
Serves the community of Briarbrook in north Kanata, the Kanata North Business Park, and travels via Highway 417 and the Transitway. Eastbound AM peak period trips travel via March instead of the business park and are extended to Gatineau; the reverse occurs in the PM peak for westbound. Extra service is provided by local route 64.
 74  Riverview Tunney's Pasture Replaces the western portion of current route 94 via the same routing.
 75  Barrhaven Centre
Tunney's Pasture Overnight extension to Rideau Station numbered N75.
 97  Airport
Hurdman Select late evening southbound trips travel via Hunt Club and Uplands instead of the Airport Parkway. Overnight extension to Rideau from Hurdman is numbered N97.
 98  Hawthorne Hurdman Serves the Greenboro and South Keys neighbourhoods in South Ottawa.
 99  Barrhaven Centre Greenboro
 99  Hurdman
Extended from Greenboro to Hurdman during peak hours, two-way service.

Some Greyhound intercity buses used the Transitway from St-Laurent to Laurier either to/from the city's main bus terminal.

Type of buses

All OC buses are now low floor "accessible" buses, with an aim to improve access to the service by the elderly and handicapped, and to speed up boarding by other passengers; most of these are high-capacity articulated buses. Route 61 (formerly known as route 96) has used the new Invero low-floor buses since September 2005 and route 101 (formerly known as route 99) since the start of spring 2006. Route 94 experimented with three Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double decker buses. The three demo models were sold to BC Transit in the summer of 2012, but OC Transpo purchased 135 more Enviro500 double decker for use on its express routes, of which 132 are in revenue service (bus 8017 was involved in a major accident with a Via Rail train on September 18, 2013 and is presumed retired), while bus 8010 was destroyed by a fire.


2009 Transit Service Plan

In June 2006, the City of Ottawa released a 2009 service plan for O-Train LRT services, the Transitway and new bus routes. (This plan was cancelled shortly after the 2006 municipal election.)

To the west, there are new Moodie, Bells Corners, Queensway-Carleton, Hazeldean and Kanata North Transitway stops. To the south, there is a new Nepean Sportsplex stop, and proposed stops for Strandherd and Marketplace. To the east, the Southeastern transitway is extended to Hawthorne, and the Eastern to Blackburn Hamlet and beyond. To the north, there is a planned stop at the Les Terrasses Complex. It also investigates the possibility of transitway buses along Baseline, another downtown location, and from further east on the Queensway from Kirkwood all the way to Eagleson.

Central Transitway

The downtown section of the Transitway, known as the Central Transitway, consisted of two single bus-only lanes on Albert and Slater Streets (one-way public streets in opposite east and west directions). Traffic congestion here, where the buses mingle with private vehicles, sometimes causes service delays and is seen by some as the main weakness in the Transitway system.

Initial plans for the Transitway included a bus-only tunnel in this section but the cost of a ventilated tunnel for conventional buses was deemed too expensive and was not warranted at the time. In 2006, it was proposed to extend the O-Train downtown as a tramway over the same streets while keeping existing bus and car traffic. The idea was met with objections from businesses along those streets, as normal access to the businesses would be impeded.

In 2019, the Confederation Line opened, replacing the downtown portion of the Transitway with an underground, high-capacity rapid transit rail line. This service change greatly reduced the number of buses travelling on Albert and Slater streets.



Station Rapid connections Notes
Blair  39  Park & Ride
Montreal  39 
Jeanne d'Arc  39  Park & Ride
Place d'Orléans  39  Park & Ride
Trim  39  Park & Ride
Millennium  39  Park & Ride


Station Rapid connections Notes
Hurdman  45   97   98   99 
Lycée Claudel  45   97   98   99 
Smyth  97   98   99 
Riverside  97   98   99 
Pleasant Park  97   98   99 
Billings Bridge  97   98   99 
Heron  97   98   99 
Walkley  97   98   99  Park & Ride
Greenboro  97   98   99 
South Keys  97   98   99 
Airport  97  Located at the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
Hawthorne  98 
Leitrim  99  Park & Ride


Station Rapid connections Notes
Iris  74   75 
Baseline  74   75  Park & Ride, located across from Algonquin College
Fallowfield  74   75  Park & Ride, connection to Via Rail services
Nepean Woods  74   99  Park & Ride
Riverview  74   99  Park & Ride
Longfields  75 
Strandherd  75  Park & Ride
Marketplace  75   99 
Barrhaven Centre  75   99 
Cambrian  75 
Beatrice  99 


Station Rapid connections Notes
Tunney's Pasture  57   61   62   63   74   75 
Westboro  57   61   62   63   74   75 
Dominion  57   61   62   63   74   75 
Lincoln Fields  57   61   62   63   74   75 
Queensway  61   62   63   74   75 
Pinecrest  61   62   63 
Bayshore  57   61   62   63 
Bells Corners  57 
Moodie  61   62   63 
Eagleson  61   62   63  Park & Ride
Terry Fox  61   62  Park & Ride
Canadian Tire Centre  62  Park & Ride
Stittsville  61   62 
Teron  62   63 
Innovation  63  Park & Ride

See also

  • O-Train, OC Transpo's light rail transit system
Other bus rapid transit systems in Ontario


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