Serious climate action means fixing public transit. When the bus is fast and reliable, fewer people drive and overall traffic and emissions are significantly reduced.

But since our buses must slog through traffic to get anywhere, some of OC Transpo’s most popular routes — like the 6, 7, 85, and 88 — are late 30% of the time.

Dedicated bus lanes are a simple, effective, low cost remedy. Letting buses bypass car traffic speeds up routes, keeps trips on schedule, and grows ridership.

Bus Lanes Work on Three and Four Lane Roads

  • On four lane sections, the two outer lanes can easily be made into permanent bus only lanes with red paint and clear signage.
  • They can also be established on three lane sections by dedicating one outer lane for buses in the direction of heaviest traffic flow.

While this would in some cases mean the loss of street parking, numerous studies have shown the vast majority of patrons travel to small businesses by walking, transit, and cycling anyway — signalling a potential benefit to the local economy from improved transit access.

Car dependency is not working — it has fueled a climate crisis, clogged our roads, drained household and municipal finances, and made life hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists. It has left transit riders waiting for buses that never come.

We call on the City of Ottawa to undertake a major expansion of permanent bus only lanes.

This should begin with major roads that serve OC Transpo’s busiest routes, such as: 

Bank (routes 6, 7, 11)

Rideau (routes 7, 12, 14, 15)

Carling (routes 85, 55, 56, 57)

Baseline (routes 88, 57, 58)

St Laurent (routes 7, 14, 19, 40)

Montreal (routes 12, 15, 30)

Richmond/Robertson (routes 88, 11, 57)

Bronson (routes 2, 10)

Terry Fox (routes 88, 67)

Ottawa already has the Transitway, it’s time to expand the concept to local routes. It’s time to free the bus.

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