A “Capital” Journey? Improving the Interprovincial Transit User Experience in Ottawa-Gatineau

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Saslove, Evan
Public Transit , Transit Integration , Ottawa , Gatineau , OC Transpo , STO
Public transit is an important element of urban life, but as cities grow, delivering public transit becomes more complicated. Therefore, transit integration — including routes, fares, and accessible information — must be incorporated into both online and physical transit infrastructure. Transit integration is especially important in Ottawa-Gatineau as it is a uniquely bilingual and interprovincial metropolis. This report describes the interprovincial transit user experience in Ottawa-Gatineau and provides policy recommendations so that governments and the transit agencies in Ottawa and Gatineau (OC Transpo and the Société de transport de l’Outaouais/STO, respectively) can improve the user experience. This report addresses the following research questions: 1. What is the current state of interprovincial transit integration in Ottawa-Gatineau, and how does it affect the user experience? 2. Is it convenient to take transit between important cross-border destinations? 3. How can the two transit agencies (along with relevant governments) improve the experience of interprovincial transit users in Ottawa-Gatineau? The current state of transit integration in Ottawa-Gatineau was assessed through online and field research. Online research involved analyzing the information available on the websites of the two transit agencies. Field research consisted of walking through stations/major transfer points and riding on buses and the O-Train. Online research largely yielded positive results, as information about transferring, fares, and other overlap between OC Transpo and STO is highly detailed and accurately translated. However, significant gaps were found aboard buses and LRT and in stations/major transfer points (especially in Gatineau). These mixed results led to the creation of two targeted strategies, three system-wide strategies, and twenty combined recommendations to improve the interprovincial transit user experience in Ottawa-Gatineau.
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