How it works

Updated on February 22, 2024

Like today’s O-Train Line 1 service, the future O-Train network promises convenience, simple wayfinding, frequent service, and safety.

Here are useful riding tips and safety and etiquette rules to get you started.

Have questions? Our customer service is always ready to help.

Getting started

We're always working to improve your travel experience.

We aim to make every aspect of your journey—from planning your route to arriving at your destination—as simple, straightforward, and user‑friendly as possible.



For new O‑Train riders

Whether you’re new to Ottawa or trying our services for the first time, we've created a complete O-Train rider guide. Let’s get started:


Buying your fare 

Paying for your ride is simple. At every station, you will find easy‑to‑use ticket machines that accept cash, debit, and credit card. They even have live video-chat if you need help.

If you prefer, you can pay your fare right at the fare gate by tapping your credit card or mobile wallet.

Graphic of riders tapping different transit card


Image of rider taping card at the fare gate

Fare gates

The fare gates are the starting points of your journey on the O‑Train network. They read your Presto card, mobile wallet, or ticket.

They are simple to use and feature wide gates for those with mobility devices, strollers, luggage, or riding with young children.

And now, check out O-Payment - the new, convenient, and accessible way to pay for your O-Train journey. Just tap your credit card or mobile wallet on the fare reader to start your trip. Accepted methods include VISA, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. 

Use the same credit card for transfers and enjoy daily fare-capping. Check trip history at O-Payment is not available on STO. For discounts or STO transfers, use a Presto card.


Fare‑paid zones

Once you’ve made it past the fare gate, you’ve entered the fare‑paid zone. Major transfer stations like Algonquin or Lincoln Fields have fare-paid zones where you can transfer freely between buses and trains without needing to tap your card or show your ticket again.

To familiarize yourself with how these zones work and where to find them, check out our detailed guide:

Render of new station fare-paid zone


Graphic of a person checking My Alerts notifications on his phone

My Alerts service

My Alerts keeps you posted with personalized real‑time service updates about your chosen routes. It's the easiest way to stay informed about any service changes or disruptions.

This knowledge helps make your commute predictable and stress‑free.


Navigating the stations

Our stations are easy to use and to navigate. You will find clear signage guiding you to your platform, exits, and available amenities. There are audio and tactile tools too.

In the station lobby, look out for the high‑definition Transit Information Screens. These offer real‑time updates on train schedules, routes, and service changes. 

Rider checking transit information screen


Few people safely walking inside the O-Trains

Boarding and exiting the train

Boarding: stay away from the yellow platform edge while waiting for the train to arrive. Once the train comes to a complete stop, let others disembark. Then, step on.

Exiting: when you get to your station, wait until the train comes to a complete stop. Then, make your way to the doors, and step out.

Looking for more handy tips? We've got just what you need!


New O-Train station features

New features of the expanded O-Train system:

Render of airport station

An O‑Train station at the airport

Next stop: Ottawa International Airport. Line 4 service to Macdonald–Cartier is an affordable and traffic-free option for travellers. The journey from downtown to the airport will feature easy train-to-train connections at Bayview and South Keys.

Render of Kichi Zibi station

More places to go

Explore more of Ottawa with the expanded O-Train network. Go beyond work, school, or errands, and discover new destinations and neighbourhoods.

Transit information screen

New information screens

We’re installing high‑res digital info screens at stations. Zero ads, only relevant information. These screens will provide real‑time travel information about train schedules, service changes, and more.

Stadler FLIRT Train

New trains on Line 2

We’re rolling out new Stadler FLIRT trains. They offer more space, faster boarding, and onboard features. Your journey south from Bayview to Limebank will be smoother. Hop on and see for yourself!

Picture of an OC Transpo Bus

Parallel bus service

After the launch of Lines 2 and 4, a parallel bus network will continue running alongside the new lines. This means that Route 2 buses between Bayview and South Keys, and Route 97 to the airport will continue even after the new lines open. The goal is to ensure a smooth transition for customers during the months following launch. 

Washroom sign

More washrooms

We've added more restrooms across our extended network. Washrooms are accessible and easy to find.


Discover more

Project overview

Explore new details about the O‑Train Extension

Learn more

New stations

26 modern and accessible stations

Learn more

Park & Ride lots

Free parking along new and extended O‑Train Lines

Learn more

Safety and etiquette

Your safety and comfort are our top priority. Here are tips to ensure a pleasant journey for everyone:

  • Mind the gap: Be careful when boarding or exiting the train.
  • Be considerate: Give up your seat for those who need it more. Keep noise levels down. Throw your trash out when you arrive at the station.
  • Stay behind the yellow line: For your safety, stay behind the yellow line on platforms until the train has come to a complete stop.
  • Never ever step on the track, even to get your phone back.
  • Use the emergency phones available at all stations to call the Special Constables Unit.
Riders boarding the O-Train


Customer service

If you need assistance, our customer service team is here to help. You can reach us:

Graphic of customer service member

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Our wayfinding system simplifies navigating the extended network. It’s clear and usable. 

Understanding this system is easy. Whether you're a regular commuter or a first‑time visitor, we've made our signage and communications easy to understand.


Comprehensive wayfinding system

Station wayfinding


Pylon O sign

O-Train station entrances are marked with pylons displaying a big red “O” and signs featuring the station name.

Station entrance

South keys, Bowesville, Uplands, Queensview, and Montreal station entrance signs

Station names are marked at each entrance.


Graphic of line colours

Line number and colour

Our network consists of various O‑Train lines, each with its own distinct identity. To simplify recognition, we've assigned each line a unique number and colour.

This two‑fold system ensures that identifying your route is as easy as possible.


Terminal signs


We use the terminal, or last stop, for each O-Train line as the primary way to help you identify the direction‑of‑travel you want. The terminal is typically shown just after the line number.

For instance:

  • Line 1 ends either at Algonquin or Trim
  • Line 3 ends either at Moodie or Trim
  • Line 2 ends either at Bayview or Limebank
  • Line 4 ends either at South Keys or at Airport Station

Collage of Line 1, 2, 3, and 4 stations directional and boarding signs


To help reinforce your direction‑of‑travel choice, we have secondary directional cues (cardinal points) in our wayfinding system. These details provide the general direction of travel for each line, adding another layer of guidance and reassurance for customers.

Line 1 extension
  • East towards Trim
  • West towards Algonquin
Line 3
  • East towards Trim
  • West towards Moodie
Line 2
  • South towards Limebank
  • North towards Bayview
Line 4

For more clarity, on this short line, instead of cardinal directions we use:

  • To Airport
  • To South Keys, Downtown

We occasionally add 'downtown' to reinforce the direction-of-travel.


Other tools for system wayfinding


Accessible wayfinding

We are fully committed to providing accessible wayfinding for our passengers. We’ve enhanced our stations to make them more user-friendly. We’re keeping the features you are already familiar with, such as:

  • Tactile tiles and text
  • Optimized colour contrasts in signage and transit information screens
  • Audio announcements

We are also implementing new transit information screens to ensure that travel through our stations is easier for all commuters.

To learn more about these initiatives, please visit our dedicated section.

A rider using the station layout map for wayfinding


Transit information screens

Graphical representation of the future transit information screens


Quick Facts:

  • Bigger alerts section for real-time O-Train service updates
  • User-friendly and intuitive layout
  • Ad-free experience
  • R1 replacement bus service locations 

The O-Train Extension will introduce new digital transit information screens. These screens will feature high contrast text and graphics for an accessible experience.

High-definition screens throughout our network, will bring you up-to-date, real-time information about service, estimated arrival times, and other essential travel details.

This feature will provide the vital information you need to connect to another O-Train line or bus and stay on schedule.

Plus, our screens will support wayfinding, making it easier for riders to locate their platform and ensure they're boarding the right train.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of the new screens!


Audio information

In addition to signage, we've equipped our stations, platforms, and trains with accessible audio announcements.

This helps guide passengers and share important updates, ensuring everyone stays informed while navigating our extended O-Train.

Station Information speaker

Riders exiting the station

Bus wayfinding

The intuitive navigation on the O-Train network extends to the city’s bus system. Many O-Train stations have connecting bus service and there are many information tools to guide you to your stop. These include:

  • Digital information screens
  • Backlit (static) information panels
  • Suspended wayfinding signs
  • Large, floor-mounted “info hub” signs that tell you which stop your route serves and where to find it.

On the bus stop sign, colour‑coded route numbers and symbols clearly indicate the type of service offered.

  • Each symbol used for bus routes has a specific meaning. These symbols tell you what type of service that bus route provides. Service types also help you identify your route and better plan your trip.
  • All routes connect to Line 1, 2, 3, or 4, except those numbered in the 100s and some 600‑series school routes. Learn more about route numbering.

Clear direction signs, tactile markers, and digital information screens ensure seamless navigation within the station.

Bus platform signs guide you to your connecting bus, and stops are grouped by destination. On‑board announcements keep you informed of upcoming stops.


Effortless transfers

Making connections is an important part of every big city’s transit system. The extended O‑Train network will continue to make transferring as seamless as possible.

Our station design and signage, and wayfinding tools will allow you to effortlessly switch between trains and buses.

Bayview station platform 1 and 2

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As the O-Train network expands, we remain committed to providing service that is frequent and reliable. Wherever you’re trying to go, you won't have to wait longer than a few minutes for your train.

We also understand that there will be moments when our service won’t be perfect. You can count on us to support you in these moments and work as hard as possible to provide alternatives and restore regular service as quickly as possible. 

Thank you for entrusting us with your journey.


Current network frequency

Line 1 ‑ Blair to Tunney’s Pasture

Maintaining its high frequency with:

  • Peak service every 5 minutes or less
  • Frequent service throughout the day and never more than 15 minutes after midnight or on weekends

Line 2 ‑ Bayview to Limebank

Every 12 minutes

Line 4 ‑ South Keys to Airport

Every 12 minutes

Line 1 & Line 3 extension

Schedules for Lines 1 and 3 extensions will be finalized closer to launches. 

Hours of operation

Line 1

Day Hours of service Train frequency

Monday – Thursday

5 am — 1 am

  • Every 8 min from 5 am — 6:30 am
  • Every 5 min from 6:30 am — 9:30 pm
  • Every 15 min from 11 pm — 1 am


5 am — 2 am

  • Every 8 min from 5 am — 6:30 am
  • Every 5 min from 6:30 am — 9:30 pm
  • Every 8 min from 11 pm — 2 am


6 am — 2 am

  • Every 5 min from 6 am — 7 pm
  • Every 8 min from 7 pm — 2 am

Sunday & Holidays

8 am — 11 pm

  • Every 5 min from 8 am — 7 pm
  • Every 10 min from 7 pm — 11 pm

Line 2 & Line 4

Day Hours of service

Monday – Friday

6 am — 12 am


6:30 am — 12 am


7:30 am — 11:30 pm

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Designed for a secure journey

Your safety is at the heart of the future extended O‑Train network.

You can feel confident and secure from the moment you plan your journey to the time you reach your destination. Safeguards have been carefully integrated into every stage of your commute.


Safety tips

Mindful commuting

Always pay attention to your surroundings, including signage and audio announcements. They are there to guide you, keep you informed, and keep you safe.

No need to rush

We understand that time is precious, but when it comes to commuting, safety comes first. Take your time, and never run to catch a bus or train. 

Stay clear of the edge

Keep a safe distance from the bus roadway and train platform edge while you wait for your ride to arrive. 


Tell us what you saw: anonymous reporting tool

If you see an incident that raises concern, please report it to the Special Constables Unit. We accept anonymous submissions. Your participation can help us maintain the highest level of safety.

In case of emergency:

  • All stations have emergency phones
  • O-Train vehicles have emergency intercoms that connect you with the operator
  • Articulated buses and double‑deckers have onboard passenger assistance alarms
Rider checking their phone


Transecure area in Bayview station

Our overarching commitment to safety

Safety is at the core of everything we do, and this extends to our expanding O-Train network. OC Transpo’s Transecure initiatives strive to create a transit system that is safe for everyone:

  • Passengers
  • Staff
  • The wider community

Transecure safety programs include:

  • Transecure waiting areas on all train platforms
  • Night stop at select bus stations
  • Safe Stop along your bus route in your neighbourhood
  • Our anonymous incident reporting system

We are also working with community partners and the media to create a culture of safety throughout our networks.

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