Ottawa Public Transit Milestones

Sweeper #1 in doorway of Albert
Street Car Barn, 1891

1866 The charter is signed to form the first transit company in Ottawa,the Ottawa City Passenger Railway Company (OCPR).
1870 The OCPR begins operation with 36 horses, six horse-drawn cars and five bobsleds.
1891 Streetcar service makes its debut. The Ottawa Electric Street Railway Company is incorporated, carrying 1.5 million passengers in its first year of operation.
1891-1895 The horse-drawn railway merges with the new trolley company to form the Ottawa Electric Railway Company (OER). Annual ridership increases to 4.1 million.
1924 The OER experiments with buses for the first time.
1948 The City of Ottawa buys the OER for $6.3 million and forms the Ottawa Transportation Commission. Trackless trolley service starts and runs for approx 8 year using CCL Brill coached T48 made in Fort William Ontario.
1959 The last streetcar makes its run on May 1.
1972 The OTC becomes the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission (OC Transpo), extending service into neighbouring municipalities. Buses get distinctive red and white lo ok a year later.
1973 Eleven km of exclusive bus lanes are introduced to Ottawa streets. Dial-A-Bus demand service is launched.
1974 Exact-fare policy is introduced in the evenings. A parallel transit system, offering door-to-door service for persons with disabilities, begins operation (named Para Transpo in 1982).
1976 Monthly bus passes are introduced. The exact fare system is expanded to all time periods.
1982 The first articulated GM buses are delivered.
1983 First sections of the Transitway (exclusive busway) open between Algonquin College and Carling Avenue in the west, and across the Rideau River in the east. Stations open at Baseline, Iris, Queensway, Lincoln Fields, LeBreton, Lees and Hurdman.
1993 Ten years of Transitway operation and the 500 millionth Transitway rider are celebrated.
1996 The 31 km Transitway system, approved in 1978, is completed.
1998 Bus paint scheme gets updated. First low floor buses are launched. Transit funding switches from provincial to local government. The 750 millionth Transitway rider is greeted. Annual student passes are introduced.
1999 DayPass and automated transfers introduced. Para Transpo celebrates 25 years. 140 low-floor buses arrive. Dominion Station opens November 29.
2000 ECOPASS Program (transit passes through payroll deduction) launched in January at the University of Ottawa. Bus stop flags redesigned with maple leaf. Mackenzie King Station opens June 28. Construction commences October 26 for Light Rail Pilot Project. Fallowfield Station opens October 29 with 140 Park & Ride spaces. Bayshore Station opens December 14. New Customer Service Centre opens in the Rideau Centre. Ridership is up 7.2% over previous year.
2001 On January 1, OC Transpo becomes part of the newly amalgamated City of Ottawa. The O-Train launched October 15 and five new light rail station open. Diesel-powered Talent Bombardier trains run along an eight km track from Bayview to Greenboro. The first New Flyer low-floor articulated buses are delivered.
2002 One millionth O-Train rider is celebrated on May 29, while the one billionth passenger Transitway rider is greeted on September 10. The Transit service expanded to rural areas in the fall.
2003 Gold permit limited reserve parking for $35 a month introduced at five Park & Ride lots in March. Bait Car pilot project introduced March 6 at Place d'Orléans Park & Ride lot. Two new Park & Ride lots opened - Telesat on September 1 and Eagleson West on November 3.
2004 Taxi Link introduced in the spring to help transit customers get home late at night. New Flyer delivers 73 new Invero low-floor buses. Automated Travel Planner at launched in the fall. Terry Fox Park & Ride opens September 5. One cent per litre of the provincial gas tax is dedicated to support transit commencing in October.
2005 Five millionth O-Train rider celebrated on January 21. Terry Fox Transitway Station and Park & Ride opened February 22. All-day service to Trim Station commenced September 6. Two new passes went on sale in December - the Student Semester pass and the Adult Annual pass.
2006 Strandherd Station completed in December with 336 parking spaces. Ridership peaked at 91.5 million trips - the highest ever. The Community pass was introduced in March.
2007 Biodiesel fuel introduced May 1, reducing dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. Transit Law Enforcement Officers sworn in as Special Constables on March 29. All transit station properties and bus stops went smoke-free in 2007. Riverview temporary Park & Ride opened in Riverside South in September.
2008 Mobile Travel Planning introduced in May on First hybrid diesel-electric Orion VII buses introduced in November. The Transitway celebrated 25 years and its 1.5 billionth rider was announced on October 30.
2009 Double-decker bus trial; new section of Transitway opened between Bayshore Station and new Pinecrest Station; Riverview Park & Ride opened; 24-hour service on the Transitway introduced; Family DayPass expanded to Saturday
2010 U-Pass Pilot Project and Next Stop Announcement system started in September; Industrial Garage opened in September; Leitrim Park & Ride opened in December. Launch of OC Transpo and and STO joint online travel planner in November.
2011 Three kilometre extension of the Southwest Transitway south of Fallowfield, along with two new stations - Longfields and Marketplace - opened on April 17.
2012 MyTransit iphone app and open transit data introduced; PRESTO smart card Family & Friends pilot launched in May; first of 75 double-deckers delivered in fall.
2013 PRESTO card launched July 1; ECOPASS discontinued; Confederation Line construction begins including the downtown tunnel and infrastructure works.
2014 Nepean Woods Park & Ride opens in February; Beatrice Station opens in November along with bus-only lanes along Chapman Mills Drive. Confederation Line continues with construction starting on the Belfast Maintenance and Storage Facility.
2015 Cyrville and Train Stations close along with the section of Transitway between Lees and Blair Stations, as construction of the Confederation Line begins; U-Pass extended to Algonquin College and Gatineau students.

How Many Will It Carry?

Each two-car train will be able to accommodate up to 600 passengers — 240 seated and 360 standing.

How Many Will It Carry?: Find out more
If you feel unsafe, press the passenger assistance alarm

Passenger Assistance Alarms

Find them on all double-deckers, articulated buses and the O-Train!

Passenger Assistance Alarms

Let OC Know

If you feel harassed let OC Transpo know by calling Transecure or submitting an anonymous online report.

Let OC Know: Find out more

E-mail this page