Travel Planner Help

NOTE: Schedule times are based on typical driving conditions and may vary. Please arrive at your stop a few minutes early to allow for any fluctuations in schedule. Schedules are most accurate for bus stops close to the beginning of a route, or close to major “time-points” (ie: Rideau Centre, Tunney's Pasture, Baseline Station, etc.).

Travel Planners


OC Transpo has two different route planners to help you find the quickest and most efficient route. Both versions of the Travel Planner will accept landmarks, intersections, street addresses (omit the street type as it is found automatically), and four-digit bus stop numbers as points for departure and destination.

You can use the OC Transpo Travel Planners to include anywhere STO travels! Just be sure that you select the proper municipality for the address in the drop-down box, such as Ottawa or Gatineau.

Quick Planner

The Quick Planner is a tool used for quickly discovering the best times and routes of travel. Just type in your origin and destination; select your date and time of travel and voila - you have your trip plan. 

Advanced Planner

The Advanced Travel Planner offers a variety of extra options such as categories/lists of Landmarks; specifying 'Rack & Roll' trips, etc. For more information on the additional options, just click on the "Advanced Planner" tab below.

Alternate Scheduling Tools


Route Schedules

Use this alternate scheduling tool to find complete schedules for all stops on a particular bus route. Just input your route number into the field provided under the "Route Schedules" tab on the Travel Planner page. For more information, click on the "Route Schedules" tab below.

Stop Times

To view all the stop times for a particular bus or train stop, you can use this alternate scheduling tool. Just input your four-digit stop number (found on the flag located at the desired stop) into the field provided under the "Stop Times" tab on the Travel Planner page. For more information, click on the "Stop Times" tab below.

Troubleshooting


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Cannot Find...

-An Intersection -A Street Address -A Landmark
-A Special Event - Accessible Station or Bus Stop -A Rack & Roll Trip

 

Intersections

When you type in an intersection, you may either type both streets or, if you prefer, simply type one street in the first box, then press the ‘OK’ button. The Travel Planner will display a list of all streets which intersect the street you entered.

Street Addresses

Sometimes the Travel Planner will not find the street address you typed: There are four reasons this might happen:

  • The street type was entered into the wrong field. When you enter the address - please just type in (for example) '1161 Meadowlands'. The street type ('Drive' in this case) will be found automatically. You can also select the street type - "DR"- from the drop-down box which is located to the right of the address field.
  • The street name was spelled incorrectly. If you are unsure of the exact spelling, simply type the address number, plus the first few let ters of the street name. For example, if you type “180 BAN” and press the ‘OK’ button, the Travel Planner will ask you to choose from a list of all streets which match – in this case '180 Bank' and '180 Banning'.
  • The street was correctly spelled, but that address does not exist on that street. If a nearby address is located, (within a short distance) the Travel Planner may select it, but usually you will have to specify an exact address.
  • The street and address exist, but the information in our street map is incomplete or out-of-date. The street map in the Travel Planner is approximately 14 months old. An updated map will be available in late September. If you know that the address you typed is more than 14 months old and the Travel Planner still fails to find it, please let us know!

Landmarks

There are more than 2,000 landmarks to choose from in the Travel Planner – but there is room for more. If you cannot locate a particular landmark, maybe it is in a different category, or maybe it is simply missing. Please let us know if there are important landmarks or a category of landmarks you would like to see added to the Travel Planner.

Special Events

OC Transpo often runs bus service to special events such as Winterlude and events held at Scotiabank Place. When this service is scheduled in advance, the Travel Planner will plan trips on these buses.  An easy way of selecting a destination such as Scotiabank Place is to select the 'Landmarks' tab and then 'Events'. Scotiabank Place is one of the many popular event locations listed. Connexion 400 service to Senators games is scheduled well in advance, and the Travel Planner always has these in its calendar. Other events at Scotiabank Place, such as music concerts, are usually available in the Travel Planner about one month in advance. If the Travel Planner does not find service to your event, try checking closer to the date of the event or call us at 613-741-4390.

Accessible Stations and Bus Stops

All of OC Transpo buses and the O-Train are now low-floor equipped, 100% accessible, and include the automated Next Stop Announcement System (NSAS).

Stations: 

Many Transitway Stations provide elevators and stairs to move from one platform to another – e.g., Bayshore, Westboro, Tunney’s Pasture, Mackenzie King, Campus, Lees. From time to time, an elevator may be out of service or under repair. This does not happen often, but when you are planning your trip, the Travel Planner may ask you to board a bus or transfer at one of these stations, even if the elevator is out of service. To become familiar with alternate services or transfer locations, try using the Travel Planner to identify other routes – or call the OC Transpo Access Hotline at (613) 842-3625.

» Live Updates / Elevator Status

Bus Stops: 

Not all bus stops are accessible to people using wheelchairs and scooters or other mobility devices. Lack of sidewalks or curb-cuts at a bus stop can make it difficult or impossible to use the stop. The travel planner does not currently have information about which stops are accessible and which are not, and therefore it may create a travel plan using inaccessible bus stop locations. We are in the process of collecting information about bus stop accessibility across the city. In the future, this information will be added to the Travel Planner.

Rack and Roll Trips

Some OC Transpo buses are equipped with bike racks, and the O-Train has space for 2 bicycles. To plan a trip using only these vehicles, be sure to check the "bike racks" option. The Travel Planner will only look for trips which are scheduled to use vehicles equipped with bike racks. Only a few OC Transpo bus routes have bike racks – try planning your trip between major points, such as from one transit station to another, or specify locations which you know are close to designated “rack-and-roll” bus routes. Please keep in mind that bike racks are removed from buses annually at the end of October. The Rack & Roll service resumes every spring in the month of April, on the date of the spring service change.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions and terms and definitions based on customer inquiries.

  1.     Walking Speed
  2.     Connection Times
  3.     Alternate Routes
  4.     Detours
  5.     Fares
  6.     School Trips
  7.     Transfer "to the same vehicle"
  8.     Transfer Expiry
  9.     Stop Numbers
  10.    Route Names
  11.    Direct Transfers
  12.    Portal

1.   Walking Speed


Most travel plans include some time for walking to and from bus stops. The time allowed is based on an average walking speed of 65 metres per minute. If you think this is too fast, be sure to leave more time for walking.

2.   Connection Times


If your travel plan includes a transfer, keep in mind that bus schedules are approximate - arrivals and departures can differ from scheduled times .  The Travel Planner allows a couple of minutes grace time for making these connections, but in the event of unforeseen traffic delays, an earlier departure time may be advisable.

Schedules are most reliable at major time-points along a route. Check your route timetable to see which locations are time-points. If you are catching a bus or transfering at a bus stop midway between time-points, or on a day when driving conditions are bad, you should allow extra time if possible. It also may help to know when the previous or next bus on a route is scheduled to arrive at the same bus stop. To check on connections you may:

  • use OC Transpo's 560-1000 feature to find out all the schedules for all buses at a particular stop.
  • use our Stop Times feature to get a listing of the schedules for all busses that service one particular stop.  This service requires the four-digit bus stop code that is found on the metal bus stop flag or using the Maps option found on the Stop Times page.

3.   Alternate Routes


For some trips, several alternate routes may be possible. The Advanced Travel Planner will always find the quickest trip first. To see other possible routes, click the "earlier" or "later" buttons or make a slight change to the arrival time, or specify a departure time instead of an arrival time.

4.   Detours


Long-term detours are taken into consideration by the Travel Planner. This includes bus stops moved due to road construction, or buses travelling along a temporary routing. Trip times and transfer points will follow the detour routings if and when necessary. However, many short-range detours are not in the Travel Planner. If a bus stop is moved for a day or two, or if a parade results in route detours for a few hours, this will not be reflected in your trip plan. Check our detour information page for the latest details which may affect your travel plans. You can also call our 560-1000 at the time of travel, for up-to-the-minute information about delays and detours.

5.   Fares


The Travel Planner will indicate whether a trip is “Regular Fare”, “Express Fare”, or “Rural Express Fare”. This is based on the fare required to board the most expensive bus on your trip. The actual dollar value you must pay depends on your rider status (ie: student or regular fare) and the method you use to pay – check the amount on our fare information page. If you don't want to ride an express or rural express bus, choose the regular fare only option.

6.   School Trips


OC Transpo operates some routes and trips specifically to cater to high schools and middle-schools. The Travel Planner will suggest using these routes when they are the quickest trip. All routes numbered 600 through 699 are School Routes. Other routes may have some specific trips designated for schools. These are indicated by a ”Note” which appears in your final travel plan.

Unlike other routes, route numbers for the “600s” do not appear on most bus stop signs. Check the stop location description carefully before you try to locate a 600 route.

Also, note that buses on these routes are often at full capacity after departing a school, until they start to drop off passengers. There is a greater likelihood that these buses will need to pass customers because they are already full.

7.   Transfer "to the same vehicle"


When your trip requires a transfer from one route to another, the Travel Planner will sometimes indicate to you that the same bus is used for both parts of the journey. However, please note that sometimes you will be waiting through the bus operator’s scheduled “recovery-time”. Customers may be permitted to remain on the vehicle during this “recovery-time” at the operator’s discretion.

8.   Transfer Expiry


OC Transpo fares are paid when you board the first bus in your trip. If you pay with cash or tickets, request a transfer to complete your trip on another bus. Transfers are valid for a minimum of 90 minutes - as long as you board the last bus in your journey before the transfer expires, you will not have to pay an additional fare. The Travel Planner does not consider the transfer expiry-time in its calculations and may ask you to board a bus after your transfer has expired. Keep in mind that the Travel Planner will always show you the quickest trip to reach your destination.

9.   Stop Numbers


The Travel Planner usually shows a four-digit number in parenthesis beside any bus stops used in your trip. This is the 560-1000 number for the bus stop. You can call this number at the time of your trip to check for up-to-the-minute information. 

Sometimes a bus stop description will include an address number. For example, CARLING/ AD. 3026 describes the bus stop on Carling Avenue, at address number 3026.

Street addresses are also typed and displayed in the Travel Planner with the number in front of the street name – eg  1500 ST. LAURENT BLVD

10.   Route Names


Different route destination names are sometimes used by different trips on the same route. The Travel Planner always uses the 'main' route name for every trip - if your bus is going to display a different name, the Travel Planner will put this information in a "note". If a "note" link appears in your travel plan, be sure to click it for these important details.

11.   Direct Transfers


At Transitway Stations, the Travel Planner will sometimes describe a transfer as a "direct transfer". This simply means you do not have to leave the station to make your connection. You can walk from one bus stop to another without exiting to a street. Walking instructions are sometimes provided for direct transfers, but usually the text will simply say "walk through the station".

12.   Portal


The Travel Planner uses the term “portal” to describe an entrance to a station from a street. These are used when several entrances are possible, or when a station is not actually on a street – eg O-Train stations are located on a track, not a street. The Rideau Centre is an example of a location with several “portals” – one on Rideau Street, one on Mackenzie King Bridge, etc.

Advanced Planner

The Advanced Travel Planner is designed to provide you with a variety of options for your trip including alternative routes, less walking, and earlier/later departures and arrivals. Below is a list of the options that are only available through the Advanced Travel Planner.

Advanced Planner Options:

The options below can be found in the third screen of the Advanced Travel Planner on the right side of the display.

Earlier/Later trips - For some trips, several alternate routes may be possible. The Advanced Travel Planner will always find the quickest trip first. To see other possible routes, click the "earlier" or "later" buttons or make a slight change to the arrival time, or specify a departure time instead of an arrival time.

Rack & Roll - Your trip will be planned based on buses that accommodate bikes. Keep in mind that the O-Train is also bike-friendly so it may be included in your trip.

Exclude School Routes - Any "600 series" routes that could be used for your trip will be omitted.

Exclude Special Event Routes - Any routes running specifically for special events (i.e. "400 series") will be excluded from your trip options.

The options below can be found in the results page of your trip plan.

Quickest Trip - The default setting, you will only need to use this after modifying your trip options.

Fewest Transfers - This option is useful if you're uncomfortable with transferring buses. While it may make the trip longer, you won't have to transfer as many times to get to your destination.

Least Walking - By clicking this option, you'll generate the trip that requires the least walking.

Return Trip - When this option is clicked, you'll be redirected to the "when is your trip" page to input your departure time. This option simply reverses the trip and eliminates the need to fill in the origin and destination fields.

Route Schedule Features

The Route Schedules feature is designed to provide fast and efficient access to all the stops made by a particular bus at a specified bus stop.  This feature is ideal for planning departure and arrival times as the entire day's schedule can be accessed. We suggest printing your most frequently used bus schedules for quick reference. Keep in mind, however, that schedules change four times a year.

How to Use the Route Schedules Feature

There are three selections to be made in order to find a desired route schedule:

1) the route number can be

  • entered into the Route Number field provided  (ie: simply type 95, 6, or 86 etc.) 
  • or selected using the coloured tabs located below Route Number field. If you are looking for a black route, select the black tab and ALL the black bus routes will be listed.  Simply choose the route you are looking for.

2) the date of the desired schedule (you can search for schedules up to 13 days in advance).

  • use the drop-down menu to select the date of the desired schedule

3) the time of travel (ie: 3pm-7pm)

  • use the drop-down menu to select a time-frame for the schedule. 

After making your selections, press the "Continue" button and you will be brought to the next page.  This page will provide a selection of directions of the route, for example the 95 Orleans or 95 Baseline.  Select the direction you are interested in, and press continue.

The last step is selecting the actual stops for which you want to find the schedules.  You may select up to three stops.  The "Continue" button will bring you to the final page which will display the schedules for the chosen stops.

Bus Stop Times

The Stop Times feature lists ALL the routes/buses that service a particular stop using the unique four-digit stop number found on the flag of each stop, or on the Maps page found through the navigation bar at the top of this page.  The Stop Times function differs from the Route Schedules function as it provides a list of all the routes/buses that stop at one particular stop as opposed to all the stops that one particular bus makes. Stop Times is perfect for situations in which your trip can be made using a number of different buses that service the same stop.  You can check on all the bus arrival/departure times at one stop and choose the bus and time most convenient for you.

How to Use the Stop Times Feature

There are three selections to be made in order to find a desired bus stop time schedule:

1) the bus stop number can be

  • entered into the bus stop number field provided (this is the number found on the metal flag at each stop)  or selected using the "Locate a stop number using our online maps" link to the right of the stop times field.

2) the date of the desired schedule (you can search for schedules up to 13 days in advance).

  •  use the drop-down menu to select the date of the desired schedule

3) the time of travel (ie: 3pm-7pm)

  • use the drop-down menu to select a time-frame for the schedule. 

After making your selections, press the "Continue" button and you will be brought to the next page.  This page will list all the routes/buses that service that stop. You may select up to five, using the check boxes to the left of each bus number.

The final page will display the arrival/departure times for the buses selected in the previous step. It must be noted that all schedule times are based on average driving conditions and may be affected by weather, traffic, etc.

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