Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission
Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission, commonly known as OC Transpo is the urban transit service of the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Some routes provide service to the downtown core of Gatineau, Québec, mostly during peak periods. One route provides service to the Township of Russell, Ontario to serve the Vars Park & Ride, only during peak periods.
- 1 History
- 2 Statistics
- 3 Services
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Rapid transit
- 6 Important phone numbers/e-mail
- 7 External links
For a complete and detailed history, including a timeline, click here
The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton took over transit operations from the Ottawa Transportation Commission (OTC) on August 1, 1972 in order to expand services into neighbouring cities within the region. In 1973, OC Transpo introduced its distinctive red and white livery to its fleet of buses and dedicated 11km of bus-only lanes in Ottawa. In order to provide door-to-door transit services for persons with disabilities, a parallel transit system was launched in 1974, renamed Para Transpo in 1981. The exact fare policy was introduced in 1974 during evenings only, and was expanded to all service periods in 1976, along with the introduction of monthly passes the same year. Sunday service was introduced in 1978, first as orange limited service routes. In 1980, the "560" telephone automated scheduling system was introduced in the east end, and was expanded to cover all stops by 1981. The proof of payment (POP) concept was introduced with the delivery of 21 GM articulated buses in 1982, the same year Telidon screens were installed at the Voyageur Bus Terminal and St. Laurent, the first agency in Canada to provide transit information in such a manner. A new fare structure was introduced in 1987 to encourage off-peak use of the system, the same year OC Transpo was voted the best large transit system by the American Public Transit Association. In 1998, the new "KFC" livery was introduced on OC Transpo along with the introduction of new low floor buses with the purchase of the Nova LFS. Construction began on the O-Train in 2000, and the line opened in 2001, originally intended as a pilot project, but political deadlock has since kept the line running for nearly 20 years. In September 2009, 24-hour service was introduced on Route 95, becoming the first rapid transit system in Canada to operate such a schedule.
The Transitway opened between Lees and Hurdman, and Lincoln Fields and Baseline in 1983, along with the Billings Bridge transit terminal, and downtown service was changed as the formerly bus-only "bus mall" on Rideau Street between Sussex and Waller was open to all traffic. Lebreton, Tunney's Pasture, and Westboro were inaugurated as stations in 1984 with the opening of the Transitway between Lebreton and the Ottawa River Parkway (present-day Dominion Station). 1987 brought the opening of the Transitway between Hurdman and St. Laurent Stations, including the tunnel below the St. Laurent Shopping Centre, and Route 95's headway was increased to four minutes during peak hours and five minutes off-peak. The section between St. Laurent and Blair would be completed in 1989. The 31km Transitway approved in 1978 was finally completed in 1996 with the opening of the southeast Transitway between Hurdman and South Keys.
In the City of Ottawa prior to 2001, there was an "upper-tier" regional municipal government and 11 different "lower-tier" municipal governments. The 11 lower-tier municipal governments consisted of the City of Ottawa, City of Vanier, City of Nepean, City of Gloucester, City of Kanata, City of Cumberland, Osgoode Township, Rideau Township, Goulbourn Township, West Carleton Township, and the Village of Rockcliffe Park.
In 1969, Carleton County was made a Regional Municipality and as a result, took on additional responsibilities that were better served on a regional basis (drinking water & sanitation sewers, arterial roads). The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (R.M.O.C.) was formed. They intended on making transit "regional" from the creation of Ottawa-Carleton. This was achieved on August 1, 1972. The R.M.O.C. also had the eventual goal of creating a regional rapid transit network, starting with the first report on regional rapid transit in 1973. This came in the form of the Transitway in 1983 after 10 years of planning and debate.
On January 1st, 2001, Municipal Amalgamation took place in Ottawa-Carleton. As a result, the R.M.O.C. and the 11 "lower-tier" municipal governments were amalgamated into one municipal government known as the "City of Ottawa". This did not affect OC Transpo as much as it did with other municipal services since transit was already a regional service. It did, however, cause a debate on renaming OC Transpo, since the original name no longer made sense. "Ottawa-Carleton" no longer existed, but it was decided to keep the name due to the cost of rebranding (new logos, new livery, etc). As a result, OC Transpo was the only municipal service that was not rebranded during amalgamation.
- 1958-1975: George Brady
- 1976-1980: Hector Chaput
- 1981-1991: John Bonsall
- 1992-1998: Ian Stacey
- 1999-late 2005: Gord Diamond
- late 2005-March 2006: Helen Gault (Acting)
- March 2006-late 2006: Alain Carle
- late 2006-March 2007: Helen Gault (Acting)
- March 2007-February 22, 2012: Alain Mercier
- February 22, 2012-present: John Manconi
OC's average weekday ridership is 346,800 and covers 413 sq. km of the service area. In 2006 OC Transpo recorded 91.8 million riders, an increase of 2.6% from 2005. There are approximately 2,734 people employed by OC Transpo, and 6,360 bus stops located across the City of Ottawa.
A new system map is typically printed every September, in conjunction with major changes that occur during the month as well.
Colours The colour-coded route system began in 1983 and was revamped from the ground up in 2017.
|These routes are the numbers for the O-Train. Route 1 is the Confedertion Line while Route 2 is the Trillium Line.|
|These routes are replacement routes for the O-Train. They operate when there is a shortage of trains which wouldn't meet the demand that is needed.|
|R1 typically runs only during major service disruptions on Line 1.|
|S1 typically runs when there is a shortage of trains, but not signicant enough to warrant deploying R1 buses on Line 1.|
|R2 typically runs only during major service disruptions on Line 2.|
|These routes generally operate seven days a week from about 6:00 AM to midnight, and from about 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Sundays & most holidays, with some exceptions. If a route, or a section of a route, doesn't operate during certain time periods, it will be displayed in light grey with a white background on the bus stop flag. Some routes provide early morning service as early as 4:00 AM on weekdays and 5:00 AM on Saturdays.|
|Local Limited Service, Shopper, Event:|
|Local Limited Service routes generally operate five to six days a week, with limited service between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, with some operating with limited service until 6 PM. There is usually no weekend service on these routes if they run during the week. A few only run on weekends and/or weekday evenings.|
|Shopper routes are routes that run from rural areas to urban major shopping centres. These routes are free and only operate twice per week with one trip towards a shopping centre and one trip towards the rural area. The route number corresponds to which day the route will run during the week. For example, Route 301 runs on Monday while Route 305 runs on Friday.|
|Event routes are routes that are designated to operate during events like concerts and hockey games. These routes provide a wide array of coverage to get fans to the Canadian Tire Centre or TD Place in a reasonably fast way. Routes 404-406 operate to the Canadian Tire Centre while Routes 451-456 operate to TD Place at Lansdowne.|
|Offers service every 15 minutes or less from 6 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and operates 7 days a week along main roads with connections to the O-Train.|
|These are routes are quick, station-to-station bus services along the Transitway or highway. They operate 7 days a week with some providing overnight service to Rideau Station.|
|When Line 1 closes for the night, some rapid bus routes are extended to Rideau Station where passenegrs can transfer to other bus routes in the downtown core. These routes generally run between 1:30 AM to 4:30 AM on Mon.-Thurs., 2:30 AM to 4:30 AM on Friday, 2:30 AM to 5:30 AM on Saturday, and 11:30 PM (Sat.) to 7:30 AM on Sunday. Night time service is indicated on the bus flag with the dark background of the left side of the blue circle with a moon and stars with the letter "N" on it.|
|These are routes in the 200s. Much like Local Limited Service routes, these routes generally operate Monday to Friday from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM towards the downtown core, and from about 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM away from the downtown core. Most routes travel to suburban areas, however, some of them also travel to rural areas.|
NOTE: For individual Routes, navigate to the bottom of the page to see the Route inbox or click here.
Connections to STO
Connections with STO buses can be made on Rideau and Wellington Streets. STO also provides service to Tunney's Pasture Station during peak periods. OC Transpo passes (Presto) and transfers (paper or Presto) may be used anywhere on the STO system, provided they are valid. Expired transfers and OC Transpo Presto wallets with cash balance are not accepted, and STO fares must be paid. The same policy applies to STO fare media used on OC Transpo.
Cash fares are $3.60 ($3.55 for PRESTO), senior regular cash fares are $2.70 ($2.65 for PRESTO). Children between six and 12 can ride for $1.85 ($1.80 for PRESTO), and those five or younger ride for free. All routes charge the same fare, expect for Shoppers routes where it's free for everyone. For up to date pass prices and cash fares, visit OC Transpo's website.
Active Bus Roster
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination Sign||A/C||Notes|
|4201-4202||2003||NFI||D40i||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|4203-4273||2004||NFI||D40i||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|4274-4309||2005-06||NFI||D40i||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|4310-4439||2005-06||NFI||D40i||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|4440-4526||2006-2007||NFI||D40i||Cummins ISL||Allison B400R5||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|4601-4682||2019||Nova Bus||LFS||Cummins L9||ZF 6AP1400B||Luminator Titan||Yes||
|4683-4775||2019-2020||Nova Bus||LFS||Cummins L9||ZF 6AP1400B||Luminator Titan||Yes|
|4776-4849||2020||Nova Bus||LFS||Cummins L9||ZF 6AP1400B||Luminator Titan||Yes|
|6351-6398||2008||NFI||D60LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B500R6||Luminator Horizon||Yes|
|6399-6403||2009||NFI||D60LF||Cummins ISL||Allison B500R6||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|6404-6709||2010-2011||NFI||D60LFR||Cummins ISL9||Allison B500R6||Luminator Horizon||Yes||
|8001-8075||2012||ADL||Enviro500||Cummins ISL9||Allison B500R6||Luminator Titan||Yes||
|8101-8143||2015-2016||ADL||Enviro500||Cummins ISL9||Allison B500R6||Luminator Titan||Yes||
|8144-8160||2017||ADL||Enviro500||Cummins ISL9||Allison B500R6||Luminator Titan||Yes||
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination Sign||A/C||Notes|
Retired bus roster
Leased bus roster
|Fleet number(s)||Thumbnail||Year||Manufacturer||Model||Engine||Transmission||Destination sign||A/C||Notes|
|1976||GMDD||T6H-5307N||Detroit Diesel 6V71N||Allison V730||Rollsign||No||STCUM 18-xxx series leased in 1986 & returned in 1987.|
|1977||GMDD||T6H-5307N||Detroit Diesel 6V71N||Allison V730||Rollsign||No||STCUM 19-xxx series leased in 1986 & returned in 1987.|
See Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission ParaTranspo for retired ParaTranspo buses.
OC Transpo has two rapid transit systems: the Transitway: a bus rapid transit network, and the O-Train: a diesel-powered light rail line and an electric light rail line.
Since 2001, Ottawa has operated a light rail transit system called the O-Train as a pilot for the full rollout of light rail transit technology. The pilot has been deemed a success, exceeding its ridership targets significantly; it carries 10,000 passengers per weekday. The pilot route utilizes former Canadian Pacific Railway track running south from the Ottawa River a distance of 8 km to the South Keys shopping plaza, slightly to the west of the downtown core. The system is used extensively by Carleton University students who have long complained about poor bus service relative to University of Ottawa students (who have two bus stations on the central transitway). A second rail line opened for service on September 14 2019 which is a grade-separated rapid Light Rail Transit (LRT) system between Tunney's Pasture and Blair Stations. The 12.5 kilometre line has thirteen stations with a 3.2 kilometre underground section with four stations serving downtown and the University of Ottawa Campus.
The Transitway is one of the most extensive and successful implementations of bus rapid transit; many of the Transitway roads are above or below the grade of normal streets in Ottawa, by the use of overpasses, bridges, and trench highways. Thus, they rarely intersect directly with the regular traffic, and make it possible for the buses (and emergency vehicles) to continue at full speed even during rush hour. Buses that travel on the Transitway can cross very long distances (especially outside the downtown area) without stopping for a single traffic light. Most sections of the Transitway have a speed limit of 70-90 km/h (45-55 mph) between stations, and 50 km/h (30 mph) in the station areas.
Important phone numbers/e-mail
- Access OC Hotline (for accessible services on conventional transit): 613-842-3625
- Admin: 613-842-3636 or 613-741-6440
- Customer Service Centre: 613-842-3600 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Charters: 613-842-3626
- Lost & Found: 613-563-4011
- Para Transpo: 613-244-1289
- Security and Emergency: 613-741-2478
- Transit Information: 613-741-4390 / email@example.com