St. Laurent Station
|Parent||Agency of the City of Ottawa|
|Founded||1972 from the Ottawa Transportation Commission (OTC)|
|Headquarters||1500 St. Laurent Boulevard|
|Service area||Ottawa, Ontario Gatineau, Quebec|
|Service type||Bus service, paratransit, bus rapid transit, light rail|
|Routes||170 bus, 2 LRT (2019)|
|Destinations||Kanata, Ottawa, Vanier Nepean, Gloucester, Orleans, Cumberland, Vars, Richmond, North Gower, Osgoode, Carp, Stittsville, Metcalfe, Navan, Manotick, Gatineau|
|Hubs||Mackenzie King / Rideau Station|
|Stations||43 BRT, 17 LRT (2019)|
|Fleet||974 buses total (2017), 6 diesel multiple units, 34 Citadis Spirit overhead line trains (2018)|
|Fuel type||Biodiesel, diesel, hybrid technology, ultra-low sulfur diesel, electric overhead line|
|Operator||City of Ottawa|
|Chief executive||John Manconi (General Manager)|
OC Transpo (Ottawa-Carleton Transportation Commission) is the urban transit service of the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The system carries approximately 97.1 million annual riders (340,000 daily trips). An integrated hub-and-spoke system of services is available consisting of:
- the O-Train, a light rail transit (LRT)/light metrosystem consisting of the north-south Trillium Line and the future east-west Confederation Line;
- the Transitway, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system of mostly grade-separated dedicated bus lanes within their own right-of-way and having full stations with Park & Ride facilities further supported by on-road reserved bus lanes and priority traffic signal controls;
- regular buses travelling on fixed routes in mixed traffic, typical of most urban transit systems;
- Para Transpo, a door-to-door bus service for the disabled.
In December 2012, Ottawa City Council approved a major infrastructure project to build a 12.5 km east-west LRT line, the Confederation Line through the downtown to replace the existing BRT by 2019.
OC Transpo routes also provide service to the downtown core of the nearby city of Gatineau, Quebec, especially during rush hour. Rush-hour service is also provided to a park and ride lot in the Township of Russell.
- 1 History
- 2 Features
- 3 Routes
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Fares
- 6 Para Transpo
- 7 Advertising
- 8 Amalgamated Transit Union - Local 279
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Ottawa's first public transportation system began in 1886 with the operation of a horsecar system. The horse-drawn streetcars travelled back and forth from New Edinburgh to the Chaudière Bridge. The horsecar would remain a staple means of public transportation until 1891 after Thomas Ahearn founded the Ottawa Electric Railway Company. This private enterprise eventually provided heated streetcar service covering the downtown core. Electricity had been employed in a few places in Ottawa since the first demonstration of the incandescent bulb in 1883 (the earliest were Parliament Hill and LeBreton Flats). In May 1885, electric lighting commenced in the city. In 1885 council contracted Ottawa Electric Light Company to install 165 arc lamps on the city's streets.
1970s: Formation, early Transitway and first strike
Transit in Ottawa was provided by the Ottawa Transportation Commission until 1973 when transit service in the city and its suburbs was transferred under the auspices of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. Its formal name was the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission, but the service was promoted in both English and French under the OC Transpo name, whose OC initials are derived from Ottawa-Carleton.
In 1973, OC Transpo introduced the first BRT system in the world. The first element of its BRT system was dedicated bus lanes through the city centre, with platformed stops. This was part of what later became the Transitway.
The 20-day 1979 strike was fought over a wage difference of a nickel and became known as "the five-cent bus strike". A pay increase of 16.5% was rejected by the union.
In the early 1980s, OC Transpo began planning for a bus rapid transit system, the Transitway. Construction of its various stations and segments followed over many years. The first segments were from Baseline to Lincoln Fields in the west end and from Lees to Hurdman (two immediate stations) in the east end.
1990s: Second strike and shooting
The second strike for OC Transpo ran from November 25 to December 16, 1996. The strike ended under arbitration.
On Tuesday, April 6, 1999, former OC Transpo employee Pierre Lebrun shot six people, killing four, in a shooting spree at OC Transpo's St. Laurent Boulevard garage, before killing himself. Lebrun was fired in August 1997 but later reinstated, and quit in 1998.
An inquest into the shooting revealed Lebrun was the subject of teasing for his speech impediment, and that his complaints to management were not investigated. The inquest revealed an "atmosphere of bullying", described as a "poisoned" environment by an employment equity manager. In response, OC Transpo instigated zero-tolerance policies regarding workplace harassment, a new employee-management communications program, and increased training on workplace respect. However, studies in 2003 and 2004 found there to be lingering elements of a negative work environment, and employee-management communication was reported to be strained following the 1996 strike.
2000s: Trillium Line, expansions and third strike
The province of Ontario ordered the amalgamation of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and its component municipalities into a single City of Ottawa municipality. When the new local governance took effect in 2001, OC Transpo became a department of the new city.
Following amalgamation, a bilingual replacement backronym for "OC" was sought, but no suitable candidates have been found. The anachronistic acronym has been kept, instead of the costly task of replacing the decals on all buses, bus stops, bus stations, and promotional material. Thus, "OC" is an orphan initialism.
A new section of the southwest Transitway opened on December 12, 2005, between the Nepean Sportsplex and Fallowfield Station. The new section runs parallel to Woodroffe Avenue and was built at a cost of $10 million. The new section has no stations and has replaced service along Woodroffe Avenue between the Nepean Sportsplex and Fallowfield. The Transitway was further expanded south into Barrhaven with Strandherd opened on January 2, 2007. There are also long range plans for other extensions in the Orleans and Kanata areas to keep up with more growing communities.
Following the 2006 municipal election campaign, Larry O'Brien was elected as mayor and cancelled the light rail expansion project, per a campaign promise. City Council decided to annul the project by a margin of 13-11 on December 14, 2006. The proposed northbound expansions from Bayview onward were later revived with the Confederation Line project, contracted in December 2012.
OC Transpo drivers, dispatchers, and maintenance workers under Amalgamated Transit Union local 279 went on strike December 10, 2008, at 12:01am. The main causes of the strike were disagreements between the City of Ottawa and the union regarding scheduling, payroll and seniority. Rona Ambrose, the Federal Minister of Labour ordered a union membership vote on January 8, 2009 on the city's contract proposal in response to a request from mayor Larry O'Brien. Both the city and the union published their positions on respective websites. Vote results released on January 9, 2009, revealed that of those eligible to vote, 64% rejected the offer.
Meetings were held with a mediator throughout the month, but talks were repeatedly broken off. The ATU had requested to send all issues not related to scheduling to arbitration, which the city refused as it requested all issues to be sent to an arbitrator. As the strike entered the 50th day, Ambrose, who had initially refused to table back-to-work legislation, announced that such legislation would be introduced. However, on January 29, the city and the ATU reached a deal that sent every issue to binding arbitration, thus ending the 51-day-long strike. On February 2, 2009, the O-Train Trillium Line started service after being out of service due to the strike. Buses followed the following Monday, February 9, 2009. Not all buses returned at once and OC Transpo said that all buses and routes were due to return by April 6, 2009. OC Transpo offered free transit for a week. December pass holders could either use their December passes until March or could get a refund. December pass holders were also subject to a 60% discount on March passes in order to win back transit users.
2010s: Confederation Line and double decker collisions
On September 18, 2013, a double-decker OC Transpo bus (#8017), running on Route 76 from Barrhaven to downtown at 8:48 a.m., collided with a Toronto-bound Via Rail passenger train at a level crossing, equipped with active warning systems, near Fallowfield Station in Ottawa's southwest end. Six people on the bus (including the driver) were killed and at least 30 others were injured, of which at least eight were critically injured. There were no injuries or fatalities to passengers or crew of the train. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time. It was announced the following year that Route 76 would be retired and changed to route 72 in recognition of those who died in the accident. Incidentally, this route was spotted under a crossing gate at the Barrhaven Crossing Plaza on November 6, 2014; although no accident occurred, it sparked a lot of fear and questions in Barrhaven on whether these crossings are safe.
On January 11, 2019 another accident involving a double decker occurred, this time at Westboro Station. The bus, operating Route 269, collided with the station's shelter shearing off part of the roof. Three people were killed (including one on the platform) and 23 people were injured.
OC Transpo has a fleet of 975 buses that run on regular streets, all of which are fully accessible low-floor buses. OC Transpo uses many articulated buses to provide service. Some of the routes that run on the Transitway, including the city's most-used bus routes, are served almost exclusively by articulated buses (e.g., route 61, route 62, route 95 and route 97). Peak hour connexion routes are served primarily by Double Decker buses.
In 2001, a pilot diesel-powered light rail service project, the original O-Train known today as the Trillium Line, was introduced. The local government announced expansion plans for the light rail to other parts of Ottawa, including a possible link to the Ottawa International Airport. Service to Gatineau would have also been possible, over the nearby Prince of Wales railway bridge over the Ottawa River. However, on December 14, 2006, City Council led by Mayor Larry O'Brien cancelled the north-south light rail expansion project. A new model of the project, to have a citywide integrated light rail system, was made, with work beginning in 2013 and will be completed in 2023. This new project envisions fully grade separated rapid transit service on the original Transitways from Baseline Station or Moodie dr. in the west to Trim Park and Ride in the east. The gap between the east end west branches of Transitway will be replaced by a new downtown Subway tunnel under Queen and Rideau streets with three underground stations. The O-Train Trillium Line will be extended to Riverside South and will include a spur to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, thus creating direct airport to downtown service. As for the suburbs, they will be served by 65 km of new Transitways. The first phase of the project, called the Confederation Line includes 12.5 km of rail between Tunney's Pasture and Blair, including the downtown subway.
For a number of years, OC Transpo has carried bicycle racks on some routes as a part of the "Rack & Roll" campaign. These racks carry up to two bicycles at the front of the bus and fold up against the bus when not in use. Although it started only on three routes, this service has been expanded to include routes 12, 61, 85, 88, 94, 95, 97, 99, 101 and 106 with bike racks appearing on other routes from time to time. As well, all D60LF and D60LFR articulated (60-foot long) buses, all Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-decker buses, and Invero buses 4427-4526 (inclusive) have bike racks. Traditionally, the racks have been available only between April and October, and there has been much debate over continuing the program throughout the year. However, cyclists may use the racks at any time, on any bus that is equipped with a rack (including routes that don't normally offer them), provided there is room for the cyclist in the bus. The O-Train is bicycle accessible year-round.
There are four bus depots located throughout the city. The largest and headquarters is located at 1500 St. Laurent Boulevard, with two other smaller but frequently used depots being located at 168 Colonnade Road (Merivale Garage) and the other on Queensview Drive (Pinecrest Garage). A major new maintenance depot which opened its doors in 2010 is located on Industrial Avenue.
OC Transpo has 170 bus routes (as of September 18, 2017) that are grouped both by their number and the colour with which they are represented on system maps and on bus stop flags.
Only models with at least some units now in service are listed, and the number in fleet is based on the number originally ordered. All GMDD models of 1982 or before (also known by many as fishbowls or New Looks) were retired in April 2007.
In 2006 and 2007, OC Transpo evaluated a double-decker bus on the Transitway and express routes. This bus, an Alexander Dennis Enviro500, can carry nearly 100 passengers. The initial service demonstration ran from June 28 to July 12, 2006, with a further demonstration under winter conditions in February 2007. The City of Ottawa purchased three Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses and they were delivered in November 2008. OC Transpo decals were added to the buses in December, but the strike delayed the introduction of these buses. The buses started service in February.
The OC Transpo fleet numbering scheme changed in 1999. Before 1999, the last two digits of the year of purchase were the first two digits of the fleet number. The scheme was changed because OC Transpo ordered 140 Orion 06.501and because buses purchased in 2000 would have been in the 0000 series, not favoured by the computer system. The current numbering scheme starts with 4 for 40-foot buses, 6 for 60-foot buses, 8 for the new Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-decker buses, and 5 for the Orion VII NG HEV, followed by a three-digit consecutive fleet number. The three trial double-decker buses, 1201, 1202 and 1203 were retired and sold with the introduction of the new double-deckers.
In August 2010, OC Transpo took advantage of an offer by New Flyer Industries, replacing 226 of its older underpowered 60-foot D60LF articulated buses (purchased between 2001 and 2004) with brand new D60LFR models. The bus exchange was completed in March 2011. OC Transpo also received other incentives as part of the deal, including rebates on the trading-in of the old buses and a credit on new parts. Eighty new D60LFR articulated buses were also purchased from New Flyer, bringing the combined total to 306 buses. All of the 2001-2004 D60LFs are now retired. Some of the older New Flyer D60LF sixty-foot articulated buses have caught on fire during the summer of 2006 and the Summer/Fall of 2010, due to overheating engines, effectively putting them out of service.
OC Transpo purchased 75 more Alexander Dennis Enviro500 triple-axle double-decker buses in 2012, to replace older 40-foot models purchased from 1997 to 1999. These extra double-decker buses are used mainly on connexion routes. Double-decker buses use about the same amount of fuel as an articulated 60-foot bus, but only take up the same road area as a regular 40 foot bus, meaning they free up space (especially downtown), and provide increased seated passenger capacity for longer connexion bus routes, lowering OC Transpo's operating costs. As a result of the purchase, the 60-foot articulated buses were being moved from connexion routes to Transitway and other mainline routes, replacing the 40-foot models currently used on some trips by those routes. Those 40-foot models will replace the older 40-foot models currently used on local routes. The older 40-foot buses were retired from service. This plan was approved by the Transit Commission on April 20, 2011. The extra 75 Alexander Dennis E500 double-decker buses entered service between fall 2012 and spring 2013.
However, critics suggested not everything about the new double-decker buses was good news. Those against the purchase of the new double-decker buses said the buses are too top-heavy and prone to tipping over. Loading times are longer than with the triple doors of an articulated bus and some passengers have concerns using the stairs when the buses accelerate or decelerate, especially when snow and rain are carried inside.
The maintenance of the fleet was complicated by adding buses from another manufacturer (OC Transpo already had buses from New Flyer and Orion before purchasing the double-deckers from Alexander Dennis). In cold and wet weather, condensation is prone to collecting on the roof of the upper deck, dripping on passengers below.
In service worldwide for many years, there is no evidence to support the view that double-decker buses are less stable than comparably high sided vehicles. The most frequent types of incidents concerning double-decker buses involve their being driven off route and into overhanging trees or low bridges. As with any other mode of transport, it is a matter for the vehicle operator and ultimately the driver to assess if weather and road conditions are beyond the design dynamics of the vehicle to be driven.
Accessibility is also an issue with those buses because the ramps on the double-deckers are also not well suited for connexion routes, where buses travel on various roads without proper sidewalks, and the wheelchair spots have seat belts that do not function as well as those found on the rest of the fleet.
On July 12, 2011, OC Transpo announced that all remaining high floor buses were retired and thus all OC Transpo buses now have low floors, can be further lowered for strollers and walkers, and have flip-out ramps for wheelchairs. The full fleet is air-conditioned for Ottawa's short hot and humid summers.
The first few double-decker buses arrived in Ottawa on August 23, 2012. The following day Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and transit chair Diane Deans introduced the first of the 75 double-decker buses at a ceremony at Ottawa city hall. The new double-deckers started entering service in October 2012, and are primarily used on connexion routes from Kanata, Barrhaven, and Orleans.
Two of the new double-decker buses were in service as of September 10, 2012, and were temporarily used on peak period routes 22 and 30 (serving Orleans). This lasted until a sinkhole on Regional Road 174 was fixed in mid-September.
|Model||Year||Fleet numbers||Number in fleet*||Notes|
|New Flyer D40i "Invero"||2004||4201-4273||71||The order of the first two buses in 2004 was the first order of Inveros, with 4201 sent ahead as a demo. All New Flyer D40i Invero models (buses 4201-4526) have working Thermo King air conditioning and are low-floor and fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. 4201 was retired following a fire on February 21, 2012. 4249 was retired following a fire in 2013.|
|New Flyer D40i "Invero"||2005||4274-4309||35||4280 was retired following a fire in 2013. These buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|New Flyer D40i "Invero"||2006||4310-4439||127||4315, 4378 and 4385 were retired following separate fires. These buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|New Flyer D40i "Invero"||2007||4440-4526||87||Bus 4444 is used for Ottawa's Santa Claus Parade. All have entered service as of October 2007. The driver's seat has arm rests and the stop-request chime is different from all other OC Transpo buses. These buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|Orion International VII 07.501 NG HEV||2008||5001-5002||2||These buses are diesel-electric hybrids, and therefore are mostly used on local routes, or routes with frequent stops. Entered service in November 2008.|
|New Flyer D60LF||2008||6351-6398||48||By October 16, 2008, 6351-6398 entered service. 6394 had a special wrapping for the Transitway anniversary, removed in April 2010. The route numbers displayed on the rear of these buses are larger and more readable than those on the New Flyer D60LF buses from 2001-2004. 6387 was in a collision with a 5-ton truck in downtown Ottawa. These buses received new rear route number displays during the summer of 2016. All New Flyer D60LF and New Flyer D60LFR models are articulated buses and all are fully accessible for strollers and the disabled. These buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|Orion International VII 07.501 NG HEV||2009||5003-5097||94||These buses are diesel-electric hybrids, and therefore are mostly used on local routes, or routes with frequent stops. 5062 was involved in an accident in Barrhaven when it hit a tree on 30 December 2018, and is out of service.|
|New Flyer D60LF||2009||6399-6403||5||6399 arrived in the last week of 2009, and 6400-6403 arrived the week of January 17–23, 2010. 6399 entered service January 29, 2010. Since then, 6400-6403 have also entered service. They use the same bus design and Axion destination signs (front, side, back) as 6351-6398 from 2008 (see above). These buses received new rear route number displays during the summer of 2016 and are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|Orion International VII 07.501 NG HEV||2010||5098-5177||78||Last Orion International buses purchased by OC Transpo. These buses are diesel-electric hybrids, and therefore are mostly used on local routes, or routes with frequent stops. Entered service in July 2010. 5123 was retired following a fire on November 24, 2013. 5129 was retired following a collision in December 2016.|
|New Flyer D60LFR||2010||6404-6709||306||These are 226 buses that have replaced the New Flyer D60LF buses from 2001–2004, and 80 new buses that expanded OC Transpo's bus fleet. All arrived in Ottawa between August 2010 and March 2011. The 306 buses came from two different manufacturing plants in Minnesota. 6404-6579 came from St. Cloud and 6580-6709 came from Crookston. Starting in September 2010, OC Transpo received deliveries of fifteen D60LFR buses a week. The first bus, 6404, entered service on August 30, 2010. As of April 4, 2011, all 2011 D60LFR buses have entered service. 6500-6504 had a special livery for Canada's 150 / Ottawa 150 celebrations. All of these buses came with the Next Stop Announcement System installed and are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|Alexander Dennis Enviro500||2012||8001-8075||73||Double-decker buses purchased for use on express routes. Newer model than buses 1201-1203 (see Retired fleet) with a redesigned front end. 8001 was originally numbered 1204. 8003 arrived in Ottawa on August 23, 2012. Two of these buses entered service on September 10 on routes 22 and 30 due to a sinkhole which caused lane closures on Regional Road 174. The first eight buses entered service on October 15, 2012. As of April 21, 2013, all 75 buses were in service. 8017 was retired and impounded for investigation by the Transportation Safety Board after the devastating accident on September 18, 2013. One of the double decker buses caught fire during afternoon rush hour on 27 July 2015 and is temporarily out of service. 8010 was destroyed in a fire on January 17, 2017 while in service on route 222. No injuries or deaths were reported. All double-decker buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.|
|Alstom Coradia LINT 41||2013||C4-C9||6||This is the light-rail vehicle used by OC Transpo for the O-Train Trillium Line, which runs north/south between Bayview Station and Greenboro Station. These trains began service on March 2, 2015 and replaced the Bombardier set.|
|Alstom Citadis Spirit||2015||1101-1134||34||To be used on the Confederation Line when it begins operation in 2019.|
|Alexander Dennis Enviro500 "Go Anywhere"||2015-2016||8101-8143||43||These buses have an additional row of seats on the lower level and feature updates to the drivers cabin to make buttons and switches more accessible. |
The buses also feature security cameras on board and are Wi-Fi Enabled. All double-decker buses are equipped with bike racks between May and October.
|Alexander Dennis Enviro500 "Go Anywhere"||2017||8144-8160||16||These buses have an additional row of seats on the lower level and feature updates to the drivers cabin to make buttons and switches more accessible. 8155 was driven into Westboro station in an accident on January 11, 2019 and is out of service, presumably retired.|
|Nova Bus LFS||Q1 2019||4601-4609||9||First batch of Novabuses that will be delivered in 2019, to replace New Flyer Inveros from 2004 and 2005.|
|Nova Bus LFS||Q2-Q3 2019||4610-4682||73||Second part of the 2019 batch of Novabuses to be delivered in 2019.|
Transfers are printed for passengers upon boarding by the driver upon cash or ticket payment. Such transfers are valid:
- for 90 minutes when issued during weekdays or Saturday, from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM
- for 105 minutes when issued Sunday, or from either 2:45 AM to 6:30 AM or 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM during the rest of the week
- until 4:30 AM the same day when issued from midnight to 2:45 AM
- until 4:30 AM the following day when issued from 10:30 PM to 11:59 PM
This table only lists the regular adult cash fares. It was, for example, possible in 1955 to purchase a packet of four tickets or "carfares" for 25¢, making the cost of each ride 6.25¢.
|Year||Rate||Rate in 2018 dollars|
|Year||Rate||Rate in 2018 dollars|
|Adult||13 to 64||$2.84||$3.20||$3.55|
|Senior||65 and up||$2.14||$2.70|
|Express||13 and up||$4.28||$4.80||$5.00|
|Child||6 to 12||$1.57||$1.60||$1.90|
|Child||5 and under||Free|
Current fares January 1, 2018
|Adults & Youth 13+||$3.45||2||$3.50|
|Children 5 and under||Free|
DayPass and multi-day passes
|Duration||Price per pass||Price per day||Category|
The monthly pass, introduced in 1976, offers the lowest price per day for unlimited rides on OC Transpo. Paper passes were discontinued by 2017, with Presto monthly passes being the sole option.
OC Transpo introduced the DayPass at $5 ($7.16 in 2017 dollars) per voucher or $6 ($8.60 in 2017 dollars) cash on July 1, 1998. By 2000, the cash price matched the $5 voucher price. The price for both increased to $6 ($7.64 in 2017 dollars) in 2003, and since then, DayPass fares were gradually increased to reach $10.25 in 2017. DayPass vouchers were no longer sold since July 1, 2009, leaving only cash and tickets on the bus as a method of payment.
The Family DayPass was launched concurrently with the DayPass. At launch, it was available on Sundays and statutory holidays, allowing up to two adults and youth (age 12 or older) to ride the bus with up to four children (age 11 or younger) at the same price of a DayPass. With the discontinuation of DayPass vouchers on July 1, 2009, the Family DayPass was also made available on Saturdays.
On January 1, 2018, OC Transpo launched multi-day passes. This allows multiple days of DayPass service, up to a week, to be purchased in advanced at a lower cost. Multi-day passes cannot be used as a Family DayPass, cannot be loaded on a Presto card and are emitted as a paper transfer. Passes are activated immediately upon purchase.
|*Bus tickets cannot be used on the O-Train or STO buses.|
|PRESTO card||$6.00 + minimum load $10-value|
|Tickets*||$1.70 each or $10.20 for a sheet of 6|
|Adult photo ID card||$8.75|
|Senior photo ID card||$8.75|
|Child (12 and under) photo ID card||Free|
|Gold Permit parking pass||$57.00 per month|
|Regular Park & Ride parking permit||$25.00 per month|
Tickets for the O-Train light rail line were initially sold for $2 each at ticket vending machines in 2002 ($2.60 in 2016 dollars) when paying cash, lower than the $2.50 bus cash fare but pricier than the $1.70 ($2.21 in 2016 dollars) ticket fare at the time. Train tickets can be exchanged for a bus transfer on board of an OC Transpo bus. O-Train ticket prices increased over time, but remained lower compared to bus cash fares until July 2013, when OC Transpo increased O-Train ticket prices from $2.85 to $3.40 to match the bus cash fare. This represents an increase of over 19% and happened after the Presto card launch completed. This card is accepted at O-Train stations for a lower train fare. Bus tickets and DayPass vouchers cannot be used on the O-Train. Bus transfers, however, are accepted.
Monthly and annual passes are also available for all route classes with cost differences for adults, students, and seniors. Passes require an OC Transpo photo ID card, which is available at extra cost. Additionally, Ecopasses (reduced-rate monthly passes) are available through participating employers in the city, providing applicable OC Transpo riders with single-card indefinite passes in exchange for a flat bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly payroll deduction.
In July 2008, fares were increased by 7.5% because of a shortage in funding for the City of Ottawa. This fare hike was supposed to be in effect until 2010 including a 6.5% hike in 2009. This meant Ottawa residents saw regular adult passes rise from $73 a month to $81 and adult express passes from $90 to $101 a month. However, cash fares remained the same.
On 18 January 2013, OC Transpo starting the final testing of its Presto Card deployment as part of the NEXT-ON program. Ten thousand customers were able to order a Presto Card online or pick one up at select OC Transpo transitway stations, activate it, and use it for OC Transpo's final testing of the loadable cards. As of January 2013, over 10,000 Presto cards have been distributed. A limited number of Presto cards were available at Baseline Station on 22 January 2013, and at Fallowfield Station on 24 January 2013. The final full release date for Presto in Ottawa was on 18 May 2013. Cards can be either loaded with cash and used like tickets, or loaded with as a monthly pass, which unlike the photo pass, is usable by family and friends. As of 2017, yearly and monthly photo passes have been discontinued, as they are not accepted at the new fare gates being installed along the Trillium Line.
The Province is encouraging all Ontario transit systems to adopt Presto. However, the OC Transpo installation has been by far the largest and most complex, requiring installation of readers at the front doors of all buses and all doors of articulated and double-decker buses, as well as a computer with a Presto fare database on each bus. The database was originally refreshed every night with updates of the day's Presto fare purchases when the buses return to the garages; this required users to wait up to 24 hours before cash loaded onto their card accounts is recognized by the readers. In 2014, the readers were upgraded to refresh up to 6 times a day using cellular data. The O-Train is also getting new fare gates at all stations except Bayview that will render the O-Train no longer Poof-Of-Payment. Unlike the TTC and GO Transit facilities, OC Transpo did not launch full Presto ticket machines until November 2017, when all O-Train Line 2 stations except for Bayview featured a new fare gate system. The full machines allow riders to check and reload a card prior to boarding.
On January 1, 2017, the cash fare for Adults was set to $3.40 and the presto fare $3.35. The express fare was 100% discontinued, and express routes ( now Connexion routes) use the regular fare.
Para Transpo is an accessible paratransit service available to Ottawa patrons who find it extremely difficult or impossible to use the conventional OC Transpo routes. Service is provided directly to the residences of eligible users who book trip appointments with a call centre at least one day in advance. Para Transpo drivers will provide some assistance to passengers to board designated vehicle and to access building entrances.
The transit strike of 2008 did not interrupt Para Transpo service. However, Para Transpo service did encounter delays, facing the traffic increase due to the strike.
Advertising on OC Transpo buses is contracted to Pattison Outdoor Advertising. Advertising on bus shelters is contracted to Clear Channel Outdoor. There has also been local funding to advertise on local TV stations such as CTV and CTV Two.
Amalgamated Transit Union - Local 279
The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 279 is the OC Transpo employees' union consisting of over 1700 members consisting of bus operators as well as other staffing positions within the company, including mechanics located at various garage depots throughout the city.
Alstom Coradia LINT 41
Alstom Citadis Spirit
#C1 (2001) (retired)
New Flyer D40HF
#9044 (1990) (retired)
#9736 (1997) (retired)
#9257 (1992) (retired)
Alexander Dennis Enviro500
#1201 (2008) (retired)
- Transitway (Ottawa)
- Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) in Gatineau, Québec
- "OC Transpo - Bus Fleet". octranspo.com. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
- "About OC Transpo". Retrieved 2018-10-06.
- "City of Ottawa, Main Administrative Structure". Ottawa.ca. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "OC Transpo - Reports and Stats". www.octranspo.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- "1. DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF OTTAWA'S LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (OLRT) PROJECT" (PDF). DISPOSITION 47. Ottawa City Council. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Chianello, Joanne. "LRT won't be ready to roll until 2019". CBC.ca. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
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