Stittsville/Kanata Light Rail Ridership Uplift Projections


I would like to take a moment to share some useful information regarding the future of transit in Stittsville and Ottawa’s west-end communities.


After receiving a direction from City Council at Transportation Committee, May 2nd, staff have provided Council with some estimated values for ridership following the implementation of the Kanata Light Rail Transit Extension comparative with how they stand today.


Ridership projections are based on the City’s Official Plan for growth to the 2031 planning horizon. For the Kanata Light Rail Transit (LRT) Planning and Environmental Assessment (EA) study, ridership projections were analyzed both before the LRT and after the LRT is built.


Before the Kanata LRT is implemented, the City’s Transportation Master Plan – Affordable Rapid Transit Network, identifies Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) between Moodie Station and Terry Fox Station. Projected transit ridership in this scenario is estimated at 8,600 during the weekday morning peak period (between 6:30 am to 9 am). Following implementation of the Kanata LRT from Moodie Station to Hazeldean Station, projected ridership is 10,800 during the weekday morning peak period.


Therefore, the projected ridership uplift associated with the LRT extension is 2,200 new transit trips during the morning peak period. Approximately 90% of the projected ridership uplift would be obtained with the extension of the LRT to Terry Fox Station for an estimated cost of $710M. For context, the 2,200 new transit riders would be the equivalent to adding a vehicle lane on Highway 417.


In addition to the ridership uplift, the Kanata LRT Extension will result in improved travel times of up to 10 minutes between Kanata and downtown Ottawa, and greatly improve reliability of transit service for Kanata residents by providing a fully segregated LRT facility which is not impacted by traffic congestion. It will provide fast, frequent, and reliable service, with a high capacity transit “spine” that can connect to future bus rapid transit and transit priority corridors running north and south from the LRT. This corridor supports the City’s planned development objectives of higher density development and intensification along the central core area of Kanata.


The first phase of Ottawa’s LRT Confederation Line is slated to open this November, 2018.