Did you know that Ottawa is in the midst of building a world-class transit line? The “Confederation Line” started construction in 2013 and will be a world-class light rail transit (LRT) system that will vastly improve transportation throughout the city. It will expand the OC Transpo’s integrated transit network and make it easier for residents and visitors to move east to west across the city. The rail is also designed to operate both above and underground and includes the introduction of a downtown tunnel in the city. With construction already underway, the downtown portion is expected to be open to the public as early as 2018.

To get an inside look at what’s planned, here are some interesting details about the new Confederation Line and what you can expect.

Improving the Transportation Grid

The Confederation Line Phase One plan will add thirteen new stations to the transit grid that will run over a 12.5-kilometre route from east to west. This will include a route from Tunney’s Pasture in the west end of the city to Blair Road in the east end, with around 2.5 kilometers of the route going underground in a new downtown tunnel. To ensure optimal efficiency, the majority of the above ground portion will connect with the Terminus stations, integrating into the Bus Rapid Transit system at Blair Station, Hurdman Station, and Tunney’s Pasture Station. This will also connect with the north-south running O-Train at Bayview Station. This state-of-the-art system will drastically improve the transportation grid in the city.

Planning Even Further

The city has also released a new transportation master plan that will include 35 kilometers of new rapid transit and add 19 new stations. This project will further extend the Confederation Line westward to Bayshore station and east to Place d’Orleans, adding 11 stations west and 5 stations east. This Phase 2 work is expected to start as soon as the first phase is completed in 2018, with full operation in 2023.

Minimizing Disruptions

Ottawa doesn’t plan to shut down or disrupt commuting or local businesses during the construction. To prevent delays, a plan was put in place to minimize any significant disruptions. This includes completing integrated roadwork in advance, investing in cycling infrastructure, and widening the highway 417 and Scott/Albert streets to ensure that there are more options for commuting. All relevant road closure and alternative route information can be found online so that residents can take the necessary measures to avoid delays.

Expected Benefits

The new line will improve the entire transit system for ridership in Ottawa. Features like integrated pedestrian and cycling networks, installations that celebrate the culture and history of the country, concourses with a variety of services, and welcoming public spaces will all help to support new community development and healthy commuting for riders. It will also generate more jobs, promoting more economic prosperity in the city.

The train is coming, so don’t miss out on your chance to be one of the first riders on the new Confederation Line. Keep your eyes peeled for any updates as these new and exciting transit developments unfold.

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