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STO Tramway on Wellington or under Sparks?


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Hi fellow O Train fans.

Apparently a study showed that a tramway (streetcar) is needed to link Gatineau and Ottawa. To me, it has been a need for decades already.

However, I sincerely believe that this "G Train" has to go underground when it reaches Ottawa. I don't live in Gatineau, but I would also support a downtown Gatineau underground station that would serve the huge Federal Government complex across the river.

We took the pain to drill a tunnel to eliminate as many transit vehicles as we could from our downtown core. To me, the three underground downtown stations are an asset that Ottawa will never regret building. When you are there, you feel like you are in a modern city.

And it would be a shame to create new congestion with a tramway on Wellington. In the winter, some people would have to walk from or to Queen Street to get on the O Train.

It is already admitted that an underground connection to the O Train (at Lyon?) would be the best case scenario. There could still be a few number of buses that could cross between the cities.

We see how doing thing the cheapest way can come back to bite hard.

Even if it is more expensive, we owe this much to future generations.

http://www.sto.ca/index.php?id=87&L=en&tx_ttnews[backPid]=2&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=23983&cHash=

 

 

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I agree that on the 'surface' the best option of the two is underground under Sparks. This would allow connections to both Lyon and Parliament stations. It was stated that the intention would be to ha

I found another map of what Ottawa's Transit offering could be. Like on every proposed map, it has its strengths and weaknesses. But all of them have the immense merit of showing a vision. These illus

The spanish solution would be a great option, although I do not think there would be enough space under Queen Street to accomodate the additional space required, without impacting buildings above (in

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I agree that on the 'surface' the best option of the two is underground under Sparks. This would allow connections to both Lyon and Parliament stations. It was stated that the intention would be to have the stations of both lines connect together to allow seemless or indoor transfers between. This would also allow additional entrances to the O-Train from Sparks Street, rather than only being on Queen.

There was concern before about Bayview being the main transfer station between both cities but now that the plan is becoming more firm on the location to transfer being in the main downtown core, the previous issues are very much negated.

Using Bayview would add even more people to the Confederation Line trying to come downtown for the last 2-3 stops, and again leaving in the PM peak period.

With the STO Line coming in at Lyon and Parliament, most people would already be at their destination, and those that were not and needed to make use of the O-Train would present very little issue to capacity as O-Train riders would be getting off downtown, leaving the trains mostly empty for STO riders needing to board. Same for the PM peak in reverse.

It's an exciting plan and would further enhance our two main downtown stations. Of course, lots of work still to do before any of this would be constructed and opened, but I would hope that the existing design of those stations could be incorporated into the STO stations, as if they are linked together, it would be better visually to have some consistency, rather than two vastly different looks from one end to another.

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6 hours ago, Phil said:

There could still be a few number of buses that could cross between the cities.

until the rapibus corridor is converted, buses will still be crossing, STO has said this before. Mainly the 200, some local Hull buses (don't think they stated which ones) and Tunney's routes (which i think are 18, 28, and 58). Not sure about the 400 though.

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15 hours ago, Shane said:

Using Bayview would add even more people to the Confederation Line trying to come downtown for the last 2-3 stops, and again leaving in the PM peak period.

With the STO Line coming in at Lyon and Parliament, most people would already be at their destination, and those that were not and needed to make use of the O-Train would present very little issue to capacity as O-Train riders would be getting off downtown, leaving the trains mostly empty for STO riders needing to board. Same for the PM peak in reverse.

It's an exciting plan and would further enhance our two main downtown stations. Of course, lots of work still to do before any of this would be constructed and opened, but I would hope that the existing design of those stations could be incorporated into the STO stations, as if they are linked together, it would be better visually to have some consistency, rather than two vastly different looks from one end to another.

True. Mayor Watson said that Bayview could not handle the traffic from the North, South, East and West. If I am not mistaken, there is a plan to extend the Trilium line further south, which would bring more transit riders to Bayview, with most of those riders likely to head East towards downtown and north to Gatineau.

I found the image I uploaded by accident, but it dates back to 2008. At the time, the plan was to use Bayview as a hub where trains can take people in the four directions. For that plan to work, Bayview arguably would have had to be build as big as Berri-UQAM in Montréal (three lines, four directions) because at rush hour it would otherwise overflow. Note that it would require a transfer to continue North, or South, depending which direction you came from.

Now for the Tram from Gatineau, do we rally need to transfer points (Lyon and Parliament) rather than just one at either of the two, preferably Lyon, the closest to Gatineau and stiil a much better scenario for transfer to the O Train than having the Streetcars on Wellington.

Ottawa-Gatineau Light Rail - December 2008.png

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One transfer between the STO tunnel and Confederation Line could probably suffice. Based on the layout, it seems it might be cheaper and easier to link at Lyon however, Parliament might be the better option in terms of passenger flow, and here's why; by the time the STO train arrives at Parliament, all Gatineau passengers will disembark, leaving an empty train for Ottawa passengers to board towards Gatineau. It might even be possible to implement a Spanish solution so that Ottawa passengers get on from a different platform than Gatineau passengers use to disembark.

If that transfer is at Lyon, Ottawa passengers will get onto a train that's half full and have to ride one station east before turning back towards the west, going through Lyon a second time.

Ideally, both Lyon and Parliament are linked to the STO tunnel for maximum convenience. 

 

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5 hours ago, J.OT13 said:

One transfer between the STO tunnel and Confederation Line could probably suffice. Based on the layout, it seems it might be cheaper and easier to link at Lyon however, Parliament might be the better option in terms of passenger flow, and here's why; by the time the STO train arrives at Parliament, all Gatineau passengers will disembark, leaving an empty train for Ottawa passengers to board towards Gatineau. It might even be possible to implement a Spanish solution so that Ottawa passengers get on from a different platform than Gatineau passengers use to disembark.

If that transfer is at Lyon, Ottawa passengers will get onto a train that's half full and have to ride one station east before turning back towards the west, going through Lyon a second time.

Ideally, both Lyon and Parliament are linked to the STO tunnel for maximum convenience. 

 

The spanish solution would be a great option, although I do not think there would be enough space under Queen Street to accomodate the additional space required, without impacting buildings above (in construction and structural support), as the tunnel would extend even more underneath the buildings, rather than mostly the street and sidewalk.

I do think it would be a great way to operate things. And the STO line in Ottawa being a terminus station could function with just one platform. The only risk is if the train gets disabled in station or on the way into the station, there would not be an additional platform to handle other trains until the situation was resolved.

I personally don't see an issue with a typical side two platform station located a block away with connecting corridors in between the STO and the OC Transpo station.

Overall, for this to work well and allow easy transfers, it needs to be underground and the stations connected.

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On 2020-07-24 at 2:36 PM, J.OT13 said:

If that transfer is at Lyon, Ottawa passengers will get onto a train that's half full and have to ride one station east before turning back towards the west, going through Lyon a second time.

Like for an elevator, one usually waits for the car going in the direction they want. But yes, in hotels sometimes some people choose to go from the lobby to the garage before going up to their floor...

The two-station option is valid because it would allow Gatineau people to disembark where it is most convenient downtown (Lyon or Parliament). But if there's only a transfer at Lyon, it would be OK. The idea is to connect to the O TRain.

Lyon and Parliament are the stations that are the closest to each other on the Confederation Line if I am not mistaken. This means it would not be an extraordinary expense to have two underground stations for STO transfers since the length of the tunnel between the two is not extravagant. For the same reason, one could argue that there's no need for two stops for STO streetcars because of the short walking distance.

The whole thing ties up to what was previously mentioned in a post on this forum (I don't remember which thread): an underground network of corridors and passageways that would allow for the people working or shopping downtown to go from building to building without having to face the cold winter... like in Toronto and Montréal.

I really hope that the vision will also include an accessible and open downtown core.

 

Edited by Phil
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I found another map of what Ottawa's Transit offering could be. Like on every proposed map, it has its strengths and weaknesses. But all of them have the immense merit of showing a vision. These illustrations of a potential future must also remind us that people are at the centre of these visions. I really like the three additional Downtown Stations.

Found this one on reddit posted by u/Sagaris88 two years ago. Click to enlarge.892840703_Mapfromreddit.thumb.png.f1ef002449768bb9526a85a8e2f129bb.png

Edited by Phil
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Results from the survey were released today by the STO. I have copied them below:

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AUGUST 27, 2020 - UPDATE
Public consultation report on the integration scenarios for downtown Ottawa

The Société de transport de l'Outaouais conducted an online consultation from June 22 to July 19, 2020 to give the residents of Gatineau, Ottawa and neighbouring municipalities the opportunity to comment on the different scenarios for integrating the STO transit system into downtown Ottawa.

There were 1,503 respondents, mainly from Gatineau (60%) and Ottawa (38%), but also from neighbouring municipalities, including Chelsea, Cantley, L'Ange-Gardien and Brockville (2%).

The report highlights are as follows: 

  • The large majority of respondents believe it is important to provide proper service to both downtowns, and to connect Gatineau's and Ottawa's transit systems.
  • Three factors emerged from the survey as being the most important to consider when integrating the transit system into Ottawa: performance (84%), a safe and pleasant environment for pedestrians (67%), and service quality (65%).
  • Thus, the respondents expect a system that is reliable, resilient and adapted to local winter conditions.
  • They also want a pleasant and safe environment for pedestrians, shorter travel times than by car, limited transfers and connection with the Rapibus in the future.
  • According to the respondents, the least important elements in regard to the integration are reducing nuisances during the construction (21%), cost (21%) and access for motorized vehicles (16%).
  • Half (51%) of the respondents agree with the issue of compatibility in regard to the presence of a tram on Wellington Street and preserving the image and heritage value of the nation's capital and of Parliament Hill. One-third (33%) of the respondents do not believe that it would be compatible. Ontario respondents are more inclined to disagree with this statement (48% of those from Ontario disagree, and 24% from Quebec disagree).
  • Many feel that a tram would disfigure Wellington Street, whereas others feel that a tram would lend the city a romantic touch given its association with major European cities, and send a strong message in favour of public transit.
  • A tram could run on batteries at specific points.
  • Most (60%) respondents are in favour of a tunnel under Sparks Street. Despite the higher costs of this option, the respondents believe it to be the most realistic and viable option over the long-term. The tunnel under Sparks option would best meet the different objectives in terms of:
  • the transportation needs of respondents (58%);
  • the connections between the STO and OC Transpo systems (66%);
  • and improved access to Sparks Street and Parliament Hill (39%). However, respondents were equally (37%) supportive of option 2 (surface integration on Wellington with traffic) on this last point.
  • In terms of the Ottawa respondents, one-third do not consider the option of an at grade tram on Wellington with or without vehicles.
  • However, there was more support for the Wellington option without traffic than with traffic.
  • Respondents are quite comfortable with reducing the number of STO buses in Ottawa:
    • although more Quebec respondents wanted a certain number (53%) of buses to remain;
    • Ontario respondents believe that the number of STO buses in downtown Ottawa should be reduced (33%) or eliminated entirely (22%) vs. 11% for Gatineau respondents.
  • Several respondents indicated that public transit service in side streets on both the Gatineau and Ottawa sides should be maintained and improved.
  • Several respondents asked STO to include the environmental issue in the selection criteria for the final choice. 

Read the complete report here:

RAPPORT_DE_CONSULTATION_STO_ANGLAIS_-_7_août_2020_-_vf.pdf

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A more accurate estimated cost for the Tramway has been released. 

$2.4B for the Aylmer-Hull portion

+

$585M for the Wellington surface option
$1.4B for the Sparks tunnel option

Estimates are in 2026 dollars and include the contingency. 

Quote

 

La facture du tramway de Gatineau pourrait atteindre 4 milliards $

MATHIEU BÉLANGER, 6 novembre 2020
Le Droit

Les coûts réels du projet de tramway à Gatineau commencent à se préciser. Grossièrement estimé à 2,1 millards $ lors de son dévoilement en 2018, le projet est maintenant évalué à entre trois et quatre milliards $, selon si l’insertion à Ottawa se fait en surface sur la rue Wellington ou dans un tunnel sous la rue Sparks.

Une esquisse du projet de tramway, qui passerait en face du Parlement.

Ces chiffres ont été rendus publics pour la première fois, vendredi matin, lors d’un breffage technique organisé par la Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) dans le cadre de la présentation de son étude complémentaire sur le projet de tramway. 

La portion québécoise du projet allant d’Aylmer jusqu’au pont du Portage équivaut à 2,4 milliards $, alors que la partie insertion en surface sur la rue Wellington à Ottawa représente des coûts évalués à 585 millions $. L’insertion du tramway dans un tunnel qui est actuellement l’option privilégiée par la Ville d’Ottawa coûterait à elle seule un peu plus de 1,4 milliard $. Il est à noter que ces estimations comprennent les montants réservés à la contingence du projet et ont été indexées en fonction des prix prévus en 2026. 

Questionné à savoir si ces nouvelles évaluations rendront plus difficile le bouclage du financement du projet, le maire de Gatineau, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, a affirmé que les différents partenaires financiers, à savoir Québec et Ottawa, savent maintenant un peu plus à quoi s’en tenir. «Ça précise les enjeux, a-t-il dit. Et je le répète, c’est quoi le plan B si on ne va pas de l’avant avec ce projet qui fait consensus des deux côtés de la rivière et qui a une capacité de croître pendant 50 ans? Est-ce qu’on s’autocongestionne avec des autobus? Est-ce qu’on revient à l’automobile? Je crois que personne ne veut ça.»


Le gouvernement du Québec a déjà confirmé sa participation au projet à la hauteur de 60 %, mais c’était au moment où les coûts étaient estimés à 2,1 milliards $. M. Pedneaud-Jobin n’a pas voulu se prononcer à la place du gouvernement du Québec quant à sa volonté de financer la même proportion du projet dont les coûts pourraient passer du simple au double. «Ce qui est clair, c’est que Québec veut qu’on fasse ce qui doit être fait le plus rapidement possible, a-t-il affirmé. On est devant un projet qui a une dimension interprovinciale […] et le fédéral doit avoir une responsabilité très grande là-dedans.» Actuellement, en fonction du programme d’infrastructures de transport en commun du fédéral, Ottawa ne verserait pas plus de 173 millions $ dans le projet, ce qui est nettement insuffisant aux yeux de Québec. 

La présidente de la STO, Myriam Nadeau, a rappelé que l’option du tunnel et de l’insertion en surface sont toutes deux viables et acceptables pour la Ville d’Ottawa. «Si le fédéral veut un tunnel, on ne dira pas non à ça, c’est une décision qui ne revient pas uniquement à la STO, a-t-elle indiqué. Pour nous, l’important c’est que le projet se réalise afin de répondre aux besoins identifiés et aux impératifs de mobilité et de croissance de la région.»

La boucle ferroviaire

L’idée de la boucle ferroviaire relancée la semaine dernière par un groupe de gens d’affaires et de politiciens de la région de la capitale fédérale n’est pas contradictoire avec le projet de tramway de la STO, ont insisté M. Nadeau et M. Pedneaud-Jobin. Si le fédéral tient toutefois à ce projet de boucle comme l’a laissé entendre le député de Hull-Aylmer, Greg Fergus, l’option d’une insertion en tunnel à Ottawa devra vraisemblablement être abandonnée. 

«C’est clair que si cette boucle devait aller de l’avant, il faudra alors privilégier une insertion en surface sur Wellington, a prévenu Mme Nadeau. Un bout de cette boucle est déjà compris dans l’option d’insertion en surface puisque le tramway se rendrait jusqu’à la rue Elgin. La boucle deviendrait donc un prolongement de cette option vers le pont Alexandra et la rue Laurier. Si le fédéral est prêt à mettre plus d’argent pour financer aussi cette boucle, on ne sera pas contre ça.»

Le maire de Gatineau a abondé dans le même sens en affirmant n’avoir aucun problème à concevoir le projet de tramway en prévision d’une future boucle. «Si la conception de cette boucle aide à faire bouger le fédéral, nous on sera tout à fait content, mais l’important c’est qu’il bouge, a-t-il ajouté. Je suis content si ce projet de boucle stimule le fédéral à agir. Je considère toutefois que les besoins de Gatineau en eux-mêmes sont suffisants pour que le fédéral réagisse au plus vite et prenne position sur notre projet, il y a urgence.» 

Ce que le maire Pedneaud-Jobin et la STO redoutent, c’est que ce projet de boucle vienne retarder l’évolution du projet de tramway. 

Réaction à Ottawa

Dans une réponse écrite, le maire d’Ottawa, Jim Watson, a indiqué appuyer fortement les plans de Gatineau qui permettraient de réduire le nombre d’autobus de la STO dans son centre-ville. «Notre personnel a identifié les deux corridors comme étant viables, a-t-il ajouté. Peu importe lequel ira de l’avant dans quelques années, je sais que ce tramway électrique nous aidera à améliorer l’expérience pour les usagers du transport en commun des deux côtés de la rivière, tout en réduisant le montant de gaz à effet de serre qui est émis dans notre ville.»

Quelques étapes restent à franchir avant la recommandation d’un scénario complet et final en juin 2021. Le comité des transports de la Ville d’Ottawa sera d’abord saisi de l’étude complémentaire le 16 novembre prochain, alors que le conseil municipal aura une présentation la semaine suivante. Le tracé final du projet du côté québécois doit être finalisé au cours de l’hiver prochain.

 

https://www.ledroit.com/actualites/la-facture-du-tramway-de-gatineau-pourrait-atteindre-4-milliards--b19709c194626dde50e2cb1eddc0f26e

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On 2020-11-06 at 1:43 PM, J.OT13 said:

A more accurate estimated cost for the Tramway has been released. 

$2.4B for the Aylmer-Hull portion

+

$585M for the Wellington surface option
$1.4B for the Sparks tunnel option

Estimates are in 2026 dollars and include the contingency. 

Light Rail on the streets is not rapid transit.

Just before seeing your post, I posted something about the Québec City project... the issue is the same: money.

If we are investing to counter climate change, the price tag is irrelevant. I would even say that it is rather a cheap price to remove thousands of vehicles from the streets. Sure, the tram will be electric and could very well run on Wellington, but it would make the street much more busy than it is now. It is an investment for decades to come so we have got to get it right.

And I just want to put a reminder here that before the project of a tunnel under Ottawa's Downtown, there was another project which would have had light rail running in the streets. I can only say I am grateful for what we have in Ottawa today.

 

 

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I saw recently someone posted something about a train loop between Ottawa and Gatineau. But the following has to be taken into account:

On 2020-08-27 at 8:20 PM, Shane said:

Three factors emerged from the survey as being the most important to consider when integrating the transit system into Ottawa: performance (84%), a safe and pleasant environment for pedestrians (67%), and service quality (65%).

An above ground loop using Wellington Street will not offer the performance needed for rapid transit. It would  be a sightseeing infrastructure that would be nice for tourists, but during rush hour, it won't be efficient. The priority should be to get our Civil servants and other workers fast to their destination. Imagine leaving Orléans to go to Gatineau at 7:30 in the morning, or doing the same in reverse at 4:30 pm. Are we building rapid transit for Ottawa and the region? Adding a slow paced tram loop through Wellington from Gatineau, with poor connections to Line 1, would be a minor improvement that would not be worth the investment.

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