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Keeping you safer

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to change rapidly. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) acknowledges that there are essential services – including public transit – that must continue to allow the city to function. OC Transpo is working closely with OPH to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps to help protect the health and safety of our staff and the public.

Travel Tips

Transcript and text description

Time Transcript Text description
0:00 [Music] At OC Transpo, we’ve been working with Ottawa Public Health to make transit as safe as possible. Aerial view of Line 1 train; customer walking toward entrance to Tunney’s Pasture Station.
0:04 Please don’t use transit if you’re not feeling well, have had contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case, or recently travelled outside Canada. Customer approaches fare gates, coughs into elbow, stops and turns away from station.
0:11 We’re good to go at OC Transpo, Multiple masked customers boarding Line 1 train.
0:12 so put your mask on and let’s go. Masked customers onboard bus.
0:13 OC Transpo, City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health logos appear.

Full bus and train service has resumed.

If you are not feeling well:

1. Plan your trip in advance

  • Adjust your travel times to avoid crowds during the morning and afternoon peak periods
  • Allow a few extra minutes for your travel to wait for the next bus or train if it's too full
  • Consider adding cycling, walking and other types of active transportation to your travel

2. Protect yourself while using public transit

  • Wear a cloth face mask or alternative that covers your nose and mouth while taking transit and inside bus shelters and stations
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after your trip - hand sanitizer is available in all Line 1 stations and most Transitway stations
  • Use Presto for touch-free fare payments at fare gates and when boarding the bus - no need to tap your card, just hold it next to the card reader to pay your fare
  • Use ParaPay for touch-free payments on Para Transpo trips
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm; not your hand
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Practice physical distancing (2 metres away from others) as much as possible

3. Protect other people using public transit

  • Stay home if your are not feeling well and take the online self-assessment
  • Allow other riders to exit the vehicle before you board
  • Do not crowd the fare gates, ticket machines, or other amenities
  • Speak quietly and less frequently while riding buses and trains
  • Follow the signage posted in stations and on all vehicles
  • Keep a 2 meter distance when speaking with OC Transpo employees

Enhanced cleaning

Transcript and text description

Time Transcript Text description
0:00 [Music] At OC Transpo, we’ve been working with Ottawa Public Health to make transit as safe as possible. Cleaning staff cleaning stairway in line 1 station as train arrives; close up of staff cleaning ticket machine in Line 1 station.
0:04 We are now conducting enhanced sanitizing and cleaning of trains, buses and stations around the clock. Cleaning staff sanitizing a train interior, bus interior and Line 1 station fare gates.
0:11 We’re good to go at OC Transpo, Multiple masked customers boarding Line 1 train.
0:12 so put your mask on and let’s go. Masked customers onboard moving train.
0:13 OC Transpo, City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health logos appear.

Since the the beginning of the pandemic, we have enhanced our cleaning measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to perform enhanced daily cleaning of all vehicles, stations, and employee areas to keep our transit network as safe as possible.

Where we're cleaning


OC Transpo employee posing in front of a bus wearing goggles, a face mask, and gloves and holding cleaning supplies.
  • All common touch points on a bus are cleaned and disinfected before going into service, including:
    • Fare card readers and the fare box
    • Stanchion posts, hand straps, and handrails
    • Seats
    • Stop buttons and pull-to-stop cords.
    • Buttons used to open back doors when exiting the bus
    • Operator area
  • Bus Operator cabs and their protective shields are also wiped down before leaving the garage with anti-viral disinfectant.
  • On double-decker buses, the HVAC vents near the Operator cab are taped down to keep recirculated air out.
  • If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with a bus, the vehicle will be immediately removed from service to undergo deep cleaning.


OC Transpo employees posing in front of O-Train Line 1 wearing goggles, a face mask, and gloves and holding cleaning supplies.
  • Line 1 contractors have brought on additional cleaning staff and are committed to enhanced cleaning.
  • Every surface on a train, from the floor to the ceiling, is cleaned and disinfected before going into service, including the Operator cab.
  • Common touch surfaces on in-service trains are wiped down with disinfectant every 8 hours, including stanchion posts, hand straps, and hand holds.
  • If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with a train, the vehicle will be immediately removed from service to undergo deep cleaning.


OC Transpo employee wearing Personal Protective Equipment cleaning a ticket machine.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are installed in all Line 1 stations and many Transitway stations for everyone to use.
  • Additional staff are supporting cleaning efforts around the clock, with high-traffic areas cleaned every 8 hours.
  • Overnight deep cleaning focuses on disinfecting all touched surfaces; including handrails, doorknobs and handles, elevators, escalators, washrooms, glass, and floors.
  • The touch screen, PIN pad, and other touch points on ticket machines receive enhanced cleaning throughout the day.
  • Station doors are locked open, where possible, to reduce touch points when entering and exiting.

Para Transpo vehicles

Para Transpo Operator posing in front of a Para Transpo vehicle while wearing a surgical mask and face shield.
  • Para Transpo vehicles are wiped down daily with anti-viral disinfectant, including the Operator area.
  • All common touch points within the passenger areas are sanitized as part of enhanced cleaning schedules, including:
    • Handrails
    • Windowsills
    • Floors
    • Ceilings
  • Between trips, the Para Transpo Operator wipes down touched surfaces with disinfectant.
  • Ottawa taxi providers that are transporting Para Transpo customers are increasing the cleaning and sanitizing of their vehicles.

Employee vehicles and areas

  • Non-revenue vehicles used by Special Constables, Supervisors, and other staff are wiped down at the start of the employee's shift using an anti-viral disinfectant.
  • Employee areas, such as break rooms and washrooms, are cleaned around the clock.

Para Transpo service

Para Transpo trips will continue to be limited to one client on board per trip, when possible.

All Para Transpo vehicles undergo enhanced cleaning each day. Common touch points are also sanitized with a disinfectant cleaner by the Para Transpo Operator.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been provided to all Para Transpo Operators. Each Operator is equipped with gloves, face shields, surgical masks, and hand sanitizer.

Para Transpo FAQ

For FAQs about Para Transpo applications during the pandemic, click here.

1. Is Para Transpo transporting customers who are going to be tested for COVID-19 or who have tested positive?

If a customer has or is suspected to have COVID-19 and requires transportation to a medical facility or to an assessment centre, OC Transpo will work with the customer to provide them with a transportation option that ensures their safety and the safety of other customers and the operator or driver.

2. Is Para Transpo asking customers to wear a mask?

Yes, all customers are required to wear a mask on Para Transpo vehicles, buses, and trains.

In keeping with recommendations from the Province of Ontario, an exception will be made for:

  • Children under the age of 2
  • People who have difficulty breathing
  • Anyone who is unable to remove a mask without assistance

Remember, not all disabilities or medical conditions that prevent someone from safely wearing a mask are visible.

3. What precautions are being taken when the operator secures the customer?

Para Transpo’s number one priority is the health and safety of customers and staff. Operators and drivers will limit close contact as much as possible. We are also limiting the number of customers in a vehicle at one time, cleaning and sanitizing all touch points and following medical advice as it becomes available or changes. We are also trying to segregate more vulnerable customers such as dialysis patients as much as possible.

4. Are Para Transpo vehicles going to hospitals where there is a known COVID-19 outbreak?

Para Transpo is transporting customers to hospitals at certain doors as outlined by the hospitals. We are in communication with local hospitals to ensure proper safety measures are maintained.

5. Are vehicles being sanitized after each trip?

Yes, all vehicles, including buses and taxis, are being sanitized after each trip.

6. Are there partitions between the front and back in the taxis?

Yes, all Para Transpo taxi vehicles have plastic dividers between the front and back seat.

7. Can I bring a support person or companion with me on my trip?

You are allowed to bring one person with you in the vehicle when you travel. Remember though that your companion is responsible to pay a fare when travelling.

If you have medical information on file saying that you need the assistance of a support person for your trip, the support person does not pay a fare. If your file says that a support person is required at all times, you will not be able to travel without having the support person present. If your file specifies you only need a support person occasionally, you need to specify for each trip if the support person is required, so that we can allow for space.

8. Can I still book a Para Transpo trip on a holiday?

Yes, regularly scheduled Para Transpo trips are automatically suspended on holidays, with the exception of Easter Sunday and Remembrance Day. Customers can submit holiday booking requests using the online reservation form or by calling 613-244-7272.

Holiday service

9. Are Para Transpo Operators accepting fare payments from customers?

Yes, Para Transpo Operators continue to accept fare payments from customers.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases at OC Transpo

Protecting the health and safety of our staff and our customers is OC Transpo’s top priority. We work closely with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City of Ottawa’s Office of Emergency Management to proactively track and quickly respond to incidents of COVID-19 among OC Transpo staff.

Confirmed cases at OC Transpo

Ottawa Public Health resources

If you are feeling sick, stay home and take the online self-assessment.

Contact OPH

To stay informed on the latest COVID-19 developments in Ottawa, please visit or 

Thank you, transit workers

Special thanks to all of our frontline workers and staff.

Show your support for our frontline workers on Twitter at @OC_Transpo #thankyouOC

Bus Operators

A bus driver at the wheel looking towards the door

Bus operators may be the face of OC Transpo you see most often. They’re on the front lines working hard to help customers get to essential destinations and home again safely. #thankyouOC

 Download Bus Operators poster

Garage Attendants

Man in work overhauls standing in the entrance bay of a garage

Garage attendants in our 5 garages ensure that hundreds of buses and other vehicles get necessary maintenance and enhanced cleaning. #thankyouOC

Special Constables

A phone on the tracks. Image text: Never ever step on the track, even to get your phone back. Ask an OC Transpo employee or use the emergency phone on the platform for help.

Special constables patrol the entire system 24/7, responding to safety concerns and helping customers whenever the need arises. They’re always here for you. #thankyouOC

 Download Special Constable Appreciation poster

Customer Service Representatives

Picture of a female customer service representative working remotely via video conference on her home computer

Customer service representatives are often your first stop for feedback. They’re on the phone logging and assigning customer concerns, questions, and commendations! #thankyouOC


Man in safety gear standing in front of heavy equipment.

Mechanics keep our fleet running. Their expertise means that when a vehicle needs repair—from a tune-up to a replacement part, we can count on them to do the job and return the vehicle to service. #thankyouOC

O-Train Ambassadors

A young man smiling, wearing the O-Train Info vest uniform

O-Train Ambassadors work in Line 1 stations, assisting customers with their essential journeys and answering questions. They remain an incredibly valuable part of our team. #thankyouOC

 Download Ambassador Appreciation poster


Man looking at the camera wearing an headset, smiling, wearing the ATU uniform.

Dispatchers work in the Control Centre, making sure that vehicles are going where they need to be, and assisting our operators when they need it. #thankyouOC

O-Train Operators

A driver standing in front of a train

Our Line 1 electric rail operators are in the driver’s seat every day, working to provide a safe and smooth ride to customers who continue to require transit for essential trips. #thankyouOC

 Download O-train Employee Appreciation poster