Thursday, October 22, 2009

DOTT plans affect west side residents (v): when the transitway ends at Tunney's

The first phase of the LRT system extends as far west as Tunneys Pasture. It may always terminate there, or may be extended further west as phase two of the LRT system. Until it is extended, a major transfer facility is required at Tunney's for bus users from the west who need to transfer onto the LRT vehicles for the continued journey through the downtown. (The design of that station will be subject of another post.)

Most of the users of the 95 and similar buses from the west will get off their vehicles at the new transfer station to be built to the north of the current station at Tunney's, and have grade-separated direct access onto the LRT station platforms in the cut. The LRT will take them through the downtown core. For users going beyond Blair, they would have to transfer again onto the east end of the 95 route.

However, for 95 users who wish to go to the OTrain or City Centre employment node, or wish to go to Gatineau, it would be frustrating to have to transfer to LRT at Tunneys and then transfer again at Bayview onto the OTrain or Rapibus (more on that! in another post), or at Booth onto a Gatineau-bound bus.

The solution the city proposes is for every third or fourth 95 bus to extend beyond Tunneys along Scott to Bayview and along Albert to Booth, and then turn north and go to Gatineau. Presumably,this may also apply to 97 and some other bus routes. These route extensions would run for as long as the LRT ends at Tunney's and is not extended west (ie 5 - 20 years, possibly forever). We have no word yet on how many buses will be permanently routed on Scott / Albert but we already know intersection widenings will be required/demanded for this at Booth and maybe elsewhere.

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