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The Next Stop blog.

The Next Stop Blog is your destination for OC Transpo stories and explainers.

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Stories and explainers

Image - May 26 – LRT Sub-Committee
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May 26 – LRT Sub-Committee

On May 26, the Light Rail Sub-Committee   received an update on the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension project and received a detailed report on the preparations for the public opening of the system.

You can watch our update  here .

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Image - Making a 107-year-old dream come true
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Making a 107-year-old dream come true

In late May, OC Transpo had the privilege of hosting a very special guest at our O-Train simulator.

As a child, Juanita Snelgrove grew up next to train tracks. After seeing trains pass by her home every day, she always dreamt of driving one.

She never gave up on that dream and at the age of 107, it finally came true.

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Image - Rail Installation on the O-Train South Extension
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Rail Installation on the O-Train South Extension

Spring is in the air and construction is moving ahead full speed on all three Stage 2 O-Train Extensions.

The O-Train South extension is getting closer to completion each day. We recently celebrated the Stadler FLIRT’s first journey to Riverside South in late April. As trackwork continues to progress, we’re excited to see the FLIRT travel further north.

Before this can happen, let’s check in on how rail installation is progressing on the O-Train South Extension.

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Image - A Day In The Life - Electric Rail Controller
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A Day In The Life - Electric Rail Controller

What happens when there is a medical emergency on a train?

Why are trains sometimes temporarily held?

How do trains know when they have to switch tracks?

Every train movement on O-Train Line 1 is carefully automated; however, sometimes there are incidents or emergencies that need troubleshooting.

Electric Rail Controllers (ERC) play an important role in helping you safely arrive at your destination.

ERCs are constantly monitoring the rail service and are ready to respond if something happens to help minimize impacts to your commute.

Let’s get to know OC Transpo’s ERCs.

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Image - Celebrate transit operators and workers on March 18
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Celebrate transit operators and workers on March 18

At OC Transpo, we’re proud of our 3,000 transit workers that keep Ottawa moving 24/7, 365 days a year. Our dedicated team delivers over 98.5 million trips per year combined on Para Transpo and OC Transpo. Whether you are travelling to work, school, shopping, an appointment or visiting family and friends, transit staff are working hard to get you there.  

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Image - March 3 Transit Commission Update
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March 3 Transit Commission Update

Transit Commission heard that O-Train Line 1 and conventional bus ridership is at 62% of pre-pandemic levels and Para Transpo ridership is at 76% of pre-pandemic levels. This is a steady rise from last year and is on-par with ridership forecasts for 2023.

We are continuing to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to more O-Train Line 1 stations. In January, Pimisi Station became our fourth station to have Wi-Fi.

This spring, we’ll be continuing to educate customers about how to use the transit system and plan their commutes.  

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Image - A day in the life: Para Transpo Operator
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A day in the life: Para Transpo Operator

At OC Transpo, we are committed to providing transit services that are accessible to everyone.

Para Transpo is a shared-ride, book-in-advance, public transit service. The service is open to customers who are unable to take buses or the O-Train some or all of the time due to a disability. 

There are more than 130 operators on the Para Transpo team who provide door-to-door service.

We caught up with Sam who is one of our operators to find out what it’s like to spend a day behind the wheel at Para Transpo.

What’s a typical day for a Para Transpo operator?

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Image - Blast from the pass
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Blast from the pass

Is it embarrassing to get excited about a transit pass?  

No, we didn’t think so either.  

A customer recently turned in a very special transit pass from the year 2000.  

Not only was it from the first month of the year, but it was the very first pass issued of the millennium!   

That’s right – transit pass 0001. 

Our jaws dropped when seeing the excellent condition of this historic pass. We immediately added it to our archives.  

This made us wonder, what other vintage transit passes do we have kicking around? 

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Image - Have you met our newest train?
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Have you met our newest train?

There’s a new train in town.  

Have you met the FLIRT

Also known as the Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train, the FLIRT is our newest train that is currently undergoing testing on the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension. In the near future, customers will be able to ride our newest trains between Bayview Station and Limebank Station in Riverside South on the future expanded Line 2

Let’s get to know our new train a little better. 

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Image - Introducing <em>The Next Stop Blog</em>
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Introducing The Next Stop Blog

We did it. We’ve launched a blog. If it were 1999, this would be cutting edge.

We recognize the year is 2023 and a TikTok account would have been more timely. We’re not ruling that out, we just need to work on our choreography.  

We also recognize that you, our customers, have lots of questions. We’re working to rebuild your trust and we understand that communication is an important part of this journey.  

The Next Stop Blog is your destination for OC Transpo stories and explainers. We want you to get to know OC Transpo. Not a little better, but a lot better.  

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Image - OC Explained: Zero Emission Bus Project
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OC Explained: Zero Emission Bus Project

Less greenhouse gas emissions, same great service and lower operating costs.

That’s exactly what OC Transpo is working toward as we transition our bus fleet from diesel to electric.

On February 1, Council approved our plan to proceed with adding 26 zero emission buses (ZEBs) in 2024. We also received approval to move ahead with facility upgrades that will help charge and maintain our growing electric bus fleet.

This is an important project and we’re excited to tell you more about it.

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Image - Making it easier for people with guide dogs to travel on public transit
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Making it easier for people with guide dogs to travel on public transit

This bus will find its new home at CNIB’s Canine Campus, which is a 158-acre rural property and the national training facility for CNIB Guide Dogs. Pictured are left to right: Miriam Mas (CNIB), OC Transpo Accessibility Specialist, Kathy Riley, OC Transpo General Manager, Renée Amilcar, Ben Francis (CNIB) and Shona Kemp (CNIB).

A decommissioned OC Transpo bus is on its way to CNIB’s Canine Campus in Carleton Place, creating a new life and purpose for a bus that once transported thousands of customers across Ottawa. After many years in service, this bus will now help CNIB Guide Dog Trainers enable future guide dogs to learn the procedures for boarding, traveling, and exiting public transit.

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