Transit Service Design
- How does OC Transpo determine route patterns?
- What is TransPlan? What impact does it have on the service?
- Why does the service change four times a year?
- What determines future service expansion?
OC Transpo follows a set of service design guidelines that determine the routes we follow, the hours in which a route operates, and the performance requirements. The guidelines help us make the best use of our buses and other resources to ensure they are assigned as effectively as possible. Performance of all routes is reviewed continually based on ridership levels, operational costs, customer feedback, and community development plans.
TransPlan is OC Transpo's program for consulting with customers and the public about proposed changes to routes and schedules, and about new services we are planning to introduce. TransPlan generally occurs in February or March; open houses are held in different areas of the city to describe the proposals, and to receive feedback. Most changes discussed in TransPlan are introduced in September that year, or at the end of the construction season.
Ridership demands for OC Transpo services typically decline by about 10% in the spring and by as much as 25% in the summer compared to the winter months. As a result, many of our route schedules are also adjusted each season.
Service increases occur during the September service change. Major routing changes or expansion into new communities also occur in September.
Future service increases depend on the demonstrated ridership levels on the current service and on the expected future population growth. As the number of riders increases in a community or along a particular route, the hours of service and frequency of service will increase, subject to the availability of vehicles and operators.
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