U-Pass increase and route replacements: Five takeaways from proposed OC Transpo changes

Students can expect changes to bus routes, U-Pass prices and other fares if Ottawa city council approves the 2024 transit budget on Dec. 6. Here are five takeaways for students. U-Pass prices going up U-Pass prices are always changing and the trend continues with the proposed transit budget. The U-Pass price for students per semester […]
Photo: Noah Leafloor
Students board the 75 Cambrian at Baseline Station on Nov. 15.

Students can expect changes to bus routes, U-Pass prices and other fares if Ottawa city council approves the 2024 transit budget on Dec. 6.

Here are five takeaways for students.

U-Pass prices going up

U-Pass prices are always changing and the trend continues with the proposed transit budget.

The U-Pass price for students per semester is proposed to increase from $223.48 in 2023 to $229.07 in 2024.

“Negotiation is still in place for U-Pass price,” said SA president Abigail Soto Carvajal in a press conference with the Algonquin Times on Nov. 16.

“We will try to guide it to a win-win situation,” she said regarding concerns of affordability for students.

“The prices need to remain the same, or service needs to get better,” said Carvajal. “If prices are going to increase, then we demand better service.”

Transpo focuses on 15-minute service, but reduces total hours

OC Transpo aims for 15-minute service for riders on major bus routes. This means customers wouldn’t wait more than 15 minutes for the next bus.

At the same time, dozens of routes are proposed to be replaced all over Ottawa, eliminating 74,000 hours of service.

CTV Ottawa quoted transit services general manager Renée Amilcar saying, “Many customers will have no substantial change to the trips they make day to day and the overall reliability of the system will see improvements.”

Connexion routes are also being affected

Several Connexion routes are being removed and replaced with nearby routes. The routes being removed are: 232, 236, 252, 257, 258, 265, 267, 268, 270, 271, 273, 278, 282, 290 and 291.

OC Transpo’s proposal to cut many 200-series routes between residential neighbourhoods and O-Train stations adjusts current ridership levels and boosts service to 15 minutes in needed areas. Low ridership routes have been redirected to higher population areas.

Other transit fares will go up

The report to council also shows a 2.5 per cent transit fare increase. The adult monthly pass would increase from $125.50 to $128.75 on Jan 1. 2024.

New, important routes for Baseline Station

OC Transpo is planning more bus routes through Baseline Station at Algonquin College. Here is a snapshot:

Kanata and Stittsville:

  • Route 68 would operate from Terry Fox Station to Baseline.

West Ottawa and North Nepean:

  • Route 58 and 81 would be expanded to operate from Tunney’s Pasture Station to Baseline.
  • New all-day route 112 would operate between Baseline Station and Billings Bridge Station.
  • New weekday peak period Route 115 would operate between Baseline Station and Greenboro Station.
  • New Route 116 would operate from Baseline Station to Greenboro Station.
  • New weekday Route 189 would operate from Baseline Station to Colonnade.

South Ottawa and Alta Vista:

  • New weekday peak period Route 115 would operate between Baseline Station
    and Greenboro Station.
  • New Route 116 would operate from Baseline Station to Greenboro Station.

OC Transpo hasn’t decided when it would implement the route changes.

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