Two new pilot projects will launch this winter to improve OC Transpo customers’ transit experience: expanding the Rack & Roll program as a year-round service and adjusting bus schedules during severe storms.
Rack & Roll Winter Pilot
• The Rack & Roll Program will be extended year-round as a pilot on the entire bus fleet. A Rack & Roll winter pilot launched last winter on double-decker buses as a first step and OC Transpo is excited to expand the program.
• This is great news for all-season cyclists. Whether travelling to work, school, or just out enjoying Ottawa’s winter weather, we encourage customers to consider combining biking and transit with ease through OC Transpo’s Rack & Roll year-round pilot.
• OC Transpo’s Rack & Roll practice bike rack is on the move this winter. Starting this December, the practice bike rack will be moved at the beginning of each month to a new station to make it easier for cyclists to try it out in their area. Station locations will be advertised on octranspo.com.
• Customers can provide feedback on our Rack & Roll winter pilot by filling out an OC Transpo customer feedback form.
• We will continue gathering data about how the bike racks stand up to winter weather to determine if an all-season program will become permanent.
• For more information on OC Transpo’s Rack & Roll program, please visit octranspo.com.
Severe Storm Schedule Pilot
OC Transpo’s articulated buses often struggle to operate in deep snow, sometimes getting stuck and causing service disruptions for transit customers. OC Transpo work closely with other City departments to plan and implement services during challenging weather conditions. This winter, OC Transpo will implement a new Severe Storm Schedule pilot for buses on weekdays when 31 cm or more of snow is predicted to fall or under other severe circumstances.
On weekdays, bus service will be based on a Saturday schedule, with limited early morning service and weekday-only routes. Trips will be added to routes servicing hospitals.
• Most articulated buses will be replaced with 40-foot and double-decker buses to improve service reliability.
• Para Transpo and O-Train service levels will not be reduced, but customers should still plan ahead and expect delays.
• When a severe storm is forecast for a Saturday or Sunday, the Severe Storm Schedule will not be implemented but some articulated buses will be replaced with 40-foot and double-decker buses to improve service reliability.
OC Transpo will implement a robust communications plan to inform customers in advance of any bus schedule changes due to severe weather. We will communicate through regular customer communications channels, including octranspo.com, text alerts, a public service announcement, social media posts, and on transit information screens at stations. In December, customers will be able to use OC Transpo’s Travel Planner to see how their trip will change when the Severe Storm Schedule is in effect.
For more information on OC Transpo’s Severe Storm Schedule, customers can visit octranspo.com. OC Transpo will gather data to measure the success of the Severe Storm Schedule pilot to determine if it should become permanent each winter.