The first of thousands of OC Transpo buses have begun to ferry passengers along Scott and Albert streets as a section of the Transitway closes to accommodate light rail construction.
The Transitway closed Sunday from Merton Street to Empress Avenue. Buses will now instead run along bus-only lanes painted onto Scott and Albert.
Travel times for affected riders are expected to increase by "up to three minutes," OC Transpo said in a media release.
- Routes 86, 87, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99, as well as all west-end express and peak-only routes, will use Scott and Albert.
- The LeBreton and Bayview Transitway stations will be relocated to Albert Street, and all routes serving LeBreton and Bayview will continue to serve the relocated stations.
- Out-of-service buses will be routed onto the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to reduce the number of buses on Scott and Albert.
Early Sunday morning, OC Transpo assistant general manager Pat Scrimgeour tweeted a photo of the final bus to run along the now-closed stretch of the Transitway.
A smaller number of buses will run along Scott and Albert during the LRT work than originally planned to "make everything a little bit better for the residents in that part of town," said transit commission chair Stephen Blais.
An improved multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists will also make it easier for people to get around during the work, Blais said.
Still, some Scott Street residents like George Lagare are worried about how the increased congestion on the already busy east-west thoroughfare will affect their lives.
"If we're on the phone, we have to wait until the noise dies down. It's like you're speaking on your cellphone on the street — but you're inside the house," said Lagare.
The detour will be in place until 2018, when the city's Confederation Line is expected to open.