OC Transpo is constantly looking for ways to implement suggestions, improve service, and respond to customer feedback.
To keep our customers up to date about O-Train Line 1 service and new initiatives, OC Transpo has launched this new information tool to provide regular updates, background information and answers to frequently asked questions about Ottawa’s new multimodal service. Updates will be posted regularly during this stabilization period.
We are working hard to improve reliability, minimize delays and keep our city moving. We are maintaining staffing levels at Line 1 stations to guide and assist customers.
We know that this service transformation represents a major change to the travel patterns of our customers, and we thank them for their continued patience. With the introduction of any new service, there will be a period of transition and adjustment for our customers and for our operations. During this time, we are collecting data and feedback, and are assessing what adjustments need to be made in order to meet the needs of our customers.
We welcome your continued comments via the OC Customer Feedback form.
You can also find a variety of helpful tools and resources to plan your route and be ready for rail:
November 19, 2019
At the Transit Commission meeting of November 6, we undertook to provide a list of the assignments of the 40 additional buses that have been put into service, and the routes that they are supporting. You will find below the list of routes where this additional capacity has been deployed, benefitting transit customers in every ward.
All of the bus assignments are based on feedback from customers, both through Councillors’ offices and directly to OC Transpo, and on operational data and observations. Supervisory staff have been making adjustments to the assignments over the last two weeks to be sure that we are using them so as to provide the greatest benefit to customers.
We are assigning some buses to stand by at key locations, so that our supervisory staff are able to dispatch them to replace regularly-scheduled trips that are missing or late. We are assigning some buses to provide supplementary trips on routes that have had consistent reliability issues or that have had consistent reports or observations of crowding. In the afternoon peak period, we have also assigned some buses to provide extra trips from Tunney’s Pasture Station to the park and ride lots at Eagleson Station and Fallowfield Station.
We are continuing to monitor the use of these buses and their success in reducing waiting times and crowding. Further adjustments may be made to these assignments through the remainder of the year.
We are currently preparing new schedules for many routes for the January 2020 service change, also based on reports from customers and on operational data and observations. Some of the schedule changes will be to address on-time performance on routes that are currently experiencing reliability issues and some of the changes will be to increase capacity where required. We will share details of the January schedule changes when we have completed that work. We will also continue to work with Councillors on addressing certain specific issues that they have raised.
|Ward||Morning peak period||Afternoon peak period|
Routes 38 and 39
Routes 38 and 39
Routes 25, 30, and 228
Routes 25 and 30
Routes 75, 273, and 275
Routes 62, 63, and 66
Routes 62, 63, 264, and 268
- - -
Routes 62, 261, 262, and 263
Routes 55, 57, 62, 63, 66, 83, and 75
Routes 55, 57, 62, 63, 66, and 82
Routes 55, 57, 62, 63, 75, 80, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, 111, and 257
Routes 55, 57, 62, 66, 80, 88, and 111
Routes 75, 80, 82, 83, 86, 88, 89, and 111
Routes 80, 82, 86, 88, 89, 111, and 273
Routes 90 and 98
Routes 6, 98, and 99
Routes 12, 15, 25, 38, 39, and 228
Routes 12 and 15
Routes 6, 7, 9, 12, and 15
Routes 12, 15, and 25
Routes 6, 7, 9, 12, and 15
Routes 15 and 55
Routes 6, 7, 12, and 15
Routes 55, 57, 62, 63, 66, 80, 86, and 89
Routes 55, 57, 62, 63, 66, 80, 82, 86, and 89
Routes 55, 80, 86, 88, 89, 90, 98, and 111
Routes 55, 80, 86, 88, 89, 98, 99, and 111
Routes 55, 88, 90, 98, and 111
Routes 6, 7, 88, 98, 99, and 111
Routes 55, 88, 90, and 98
Routes 88, 98, and 99
Routes 25, 30, 39, and 228
Routes 25 and 30
Routes 75 and 275
- - -
Routes 75 and 275
Routes 62 and 257
Routes 62 and 257
General Manager, Transportation Services
City of Ottawa
November 15, 2019
New ‘No right turn’ sign helps with bus flow downtown
City staff in various departments are working closely to find and implement ways to improve bus service.
One change that will help improve downtown traffic flows is a newly introduced ‘No right turns from 7 am to 7 pm’ sign at the corner of Bank and Queen streets. During this time, cars travelling west on Queen Street will no longer be able to turn right onto Bank Street.
Why the change?
Staff have observed slowdowns at this busy intersection as right-turning vehicles on Queen Street wait for pedestrians and cyclists to clear the intersection before turning. This affects westbound buses trying to turn left onto Bank Street, slowing down service on these routes. Buses and bicycles will still be able to turn right onto Bank Street, although buses would only make right turns when detours are in effect.
As an added benefit, reducing traffic turning right improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists traveling through the intersection.
November 14, 2019
Station platform configurations
Ever wonder why some O-Train Line 1 stations have two train platforms, while others have only one? If so, it’s a good question!
The configuration of station platforms varies by station, and is based on many factors, including construction costs, space, and design challenges, among other things.
If you’ve traveled the line before, you may have noticed that Blair, Cyrville, and Pimisi stations each have a centre platform, while the other stations have two.
While centre platforms are more efficient for customers, they weren’t possible to build at many locations due to various design challenges. For example, it would have been preferable to have a centre platform at Tunney’s Pasture Station because it’s a high-volume station and at the end of Line 1. However, due to a culvert (i.e. structure) directly underneath the station, it wasn’t possible to install the necessary elevator and escalators with a centre platform design.
Visit our stations section for more information on Line 1 station designs.
November 13, 2019
Does your winter commute include cycling? If so, we’ve got you covered! All O-Train Line 1 stations have bicycle parking, and bicycles are permitted in the first car of every train in the shared Cooperative Seating section. When boarding trains with your bicycle, wait near the green marked area on the platform, and then board through the first door at the front of the train.
November 12, 2019
Staff have tested all the heaters located in the Transecure areas of our O-Train stations. Look for the sign and the button like the one below to activate. The heaters are designed to turn off automatically and can only be activated in low temperatures.
November 8, 2019
Accessing public transit during Veteran's week
How can veterans access free transit during National Veteran's Week
During National Veterans’ Week, from Nov. 5 to 11, war veterans who wear their medals and/or uniforms can ride at no charge on buses, O-Train lines, Para Transpo, and STO services.
I am a veteran and require assistance when travelling. If someone accompanies me, will they need to pay a public transit fare?
No. Companions accompanying veterans during National Veterans’ Week also ride at no charge.
How will free transit for veterans be provided at LRT stations?
Veterans and their companions can contact red-vested staff to enter the fare gates at all LRT stations. If no red-vested staff is available, you can use the video-chat at ticket machines and the customer service representative will open the fare gate.
How will I access public transit on Monday, November 11?
On Monday, November 11, everyone can ride at no-charge on OC Transpo buses, O-Train Lines 1 and 2, and Para Transpo.
You do not need to tap or pay your fare when boarding the bus and all fare gates will be open.
OC Transpo and Para Transpo buses will pull to the side of the road at 11 am to observe two minutes of silence. The Last Post and Reveille will be played over the bus radios. A moment of silence will also be observed on O-Train Lines.
November 7, 2019
O-Train stations are built for safety and include features such as yellow emergency phones, camera monitoring systems and Transecure waiting areas on every platform. Inside the train, easy-to-reach grab bars, emergency intercoms, and video cameras help keep you safe and comfortable. Special Constables and other staff monitor and patrol the O-Train and are there to assist you.
Important safety tips:
- Never hold open the train doors—it’s unsafe and causes delays
- Never step on the tracks—even to get your phone back
- Be sure to stand back when the train is approaching—tactile warning strips are there to safely keep you away from the platform edge
November 6, 2019
Thank you for continued patience as we transition to a multimodal service, integrating bus and the O-Train into our daily trips. We acknowledge the many issues that have affected transit users since the much-anticipated launch of the O-Train Line 1.
This September the initial opening of LRT was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Since October, new and modified bus services have meant significant changes to 100 bus routes where approximately 240,000 daily customer trips changed in some way. We know that with a change of this size and magnitude, there will need to be adjustments based on customer experiences.
During this transition, our system has not been operating with the level of consistency our customers expect and deserve. OC Transpo has a clear objective: to provide reliable and efficient public transportation.
To do this, we are implementing corrective measures, effective immediately. These improvements include:
- Freezing fares in 2020 for the EquiPass, Community Pass and Access Pass
- Additional staff to provide live information and customer support via social media
- Increased staff in customer service areas
- Adding 40 extra buses to daily service on routes with the greatest concerns expressed by customers
- Creation of direct non-stop trips from Tunney's Pasture to west and south end
- Adding 19 new buses to the fleet in 2020 to provide more reliable and expanded service
Our contract with Rideau Transit Group (RTG) means that they are responsible for the design, construction, integration, testing, commissioning, and 30-year maintenance of O-Train Line 1. The City will hold Rideau Transit Group accountable to fulfill their obligations under the contract.
With winter approaching, OC Transpo is inspecting heaters and defrosters and performing pro-active maintenance.
OC Transpo is dedicated and focused on ensuring customers are taken care of through every aspect of their journey. Our focus is on providing reliable transit service, holding Rideau Transit accountable to maintain the LRT system and improving communications with our customers.
* Accessible format PDFs are coming soon.
November 4, 2019
Coming soon! New strap hangers are on their way to help provide stability for customers standing on trains. More details to come.
November 1, 2019
Check out the new mat at Parliament Station!
In order to help prevent slipping during wet weather, we’ll be installing mats and other solutions at O-Train Line 1 station entrances next week.
October 31, 2019
We have installed floor decals at Rideau Station to help everyone know where to stand for efficient exiting and entering of train doors.
Remember, always allow fellow riders to exit before you start to board.
October 30, 2019
What happens to older buses at OC Transpo?
Some people have been asking what happens to older buses at OC Transpo.
Buses, like any vehicle, have a lifecycle beyond which they can no longer be efficiently repaired or refurbished. OC Transpo, like all transportation organizations has an asset management program that tracks the lifecycle of each vehicle in the fleet. Analysts work with the engineering team to ensure that the fleet is run as efficiently as possible in terms of both cost and reliability.
At OC Transpo, when a bus reaches the end of its 15-year life cycle it is decommissioned and sold through an open bidding process, either as an operational vehicle, as parts, or as scrap metal, depending on its condition.
In some cases, there is an opportunity to realise additional efficiencies by decommissioning a certain model of vehicle within the existing fleet. Removing an entire model is beneficial because the City then no longer needs to procure specialised parts or equipment for that particular kind of vehicle, streamlining maintenance operations and saving money.
October 29, 2019
Tips for Riding Confederation Line
- Use all the doors for boarding.
A coupled train has 14 doors to make for a quick boarding no matter where you are on the platform. Take advantage of the space! If customers spread out from one end of the platform to the other, it will help speed up boarding. If you have a bike, board at the first door at the front of train at the green marked area.
- Let others exit the train before you enter.
Before you board the train, let your fellow riders get off first. Not only is it the courteous thing to do, it also speeds up boarding and makes everyone’s trip faster and more comfortable.
- Don’t hold the doors.
Holding the doors open can cause delays and slow down service. If you’re worried about missing the train, there’s another one on the way within minutes.
- Save the hassle with an easy transfer.
When you get off the train and transfer to a bus at Tunney’s Pasture, Hurdman and Blair stations, you are already inside the fare-paid zone. That means you don’t have to tap or show your pass on the bus. Just walk onto the bus through any door – even the back doors on the short buses!
- Look for the red vests.
OC Transpo staff in red vests are available to help you and answer questions at key locations across the city. But that’s not the only way to get help. You can also:
- Text 560560 plus the four-digit bus stop number
- Visit octranspo.com
- Check the platform.
If you are taking the train from Tunney’s Pasture Station, check the platforms when you enter the station to help you position yourself to get the best seat on the train. Trains depart from both platforms at this station, and are scheduled to arrive every 5 minutes during peak periods. If you see that one platform has many customers waiting to board the train, choose the other platform instead and catch the next train. If you pick the emptier platform, you won’t be waiting long and can be the first in line when the next train arrives.
October 28, 2019
OC Transpo Customer Service Applications Update
We are currently working to improve the IT infrastructure that supports customer service applications like the 560560 and 560-1000 next departure services, the transit information screens at stations, the OC Transpo app and other independent transit apps. During this time, real-time information (and in some cases schedule information) may not be available. Staff are actively working on measures to increase the reliability of these services. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve the issues.
October 24, 2019
Explaining train movement
How do O-Train Line 1 trains turn around on the line?
They don’t! Trains on O-Train Line 1 only go forward and backward, switching direction at the two terminal stations: Tunney’s Pasture and Blair. Bumper blocks are installed at either end of the line at the terminal stations to stop the train from going any further. These will be removed when Stage 2 is complete and the line extends to the east and west.
An Electric Rail Operator (ERO) is always seated at the front of the train facing in the direction it is moving. At Blair and Tunney’s you may notice the ERO switching ends, by walking from one end of the train to the other. Occasionally, if time is limited, the ERO guides the train into the terminal station and another ERO boards the train at the opposite end to assume control of the train as it moves out in the opposite direction.
How does a train turn, and move around obstacles on the track?
Railway switches control the mechanisms that guide trains between two sets of parallel tracks. The O-Train Line 1 system has many switches located at different points throughout the line.
There are seven different places along Line 1 that allow a train to be moved from one track to another, using ‘track switches’. In regular operation, track 1 is intended for east to west service and track 2 is intended for west to east service. However, trains can travel in any direction at any time as needed.
At a terminal station like Blair or Tunney’s Pasture, switches allow trains to arrive and depart at both the North and Southbound platforms. Elsewhere in the system, switches can be used to move trains on and off of the line, and to divert trains around obstacles.
What systems track and control the O-Train Line 1 trains?
Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) is a communication system designed to move trains along Line 1 on a set schedule. This communication system keeps trains moving throughout the rail line while ensuring that trains maintain a safe distance in front and behind. The CBTC system can force trains to slow down, speed up or stop as necessary to ensure passenger safety and the smooth operation of the line.
October 23, 2019
Staff are installing markings on platforms at key locations to encourage customers to spread out along the platform and use all the doors while boarding.
Improved pedestrian traffic flow at Tunney’s Pasture Station
Staff have altered the doors on the north and northwest sides of Tunney’s Pasture Station, connecting to the bus platforms. One set of doors has been removed to improve pedestrian traffic flow into and out of the station during peak periods. Permanent adjustments will be implemented once designs are completed.
October 22, 2019
We have installed floor decals at Tunney’s Pasture stations to help customers more easily identify the two train platforms.
We are installing markings on the platform floors of all stations to help everyone know where to stand for efficient exiting and entering of train doors. Remember, always allow fellow riders to exit before you start to board.
October 21, 2019
We are taking action to resolve issues, minimise delays and communicate with our customers.
Special Constables at Blair Station
On Sunday, October 20, members of OC Transpo’s Special Constables Unit were at Blair Station, talking to transit customers about Operation Lifesaver, the role of the Special Constables and the safety features of O-Train Line 1.
Increased door safety messaging
Paper hangers have been installed on trains to help remind customers about the importance of not holding doors. These hangers form part of a larger communications campaign assisting our customers to increase courtesy and safety at doors. Other parts of this campaign include posters, stickers, audio announcements in stations, social media posts and advertisements.
October 18, 2019
We are taking action to resolve issues, minimise delays and communicate with our customers. Below are some examples of the work that has been done this week.
Improved pedestrian traffic flow at Tunney’s Pasture Station
In response to customer feedback, staff are altering the doors on the north and northwest sides of Tunney’s Pasture Station, connecting to the bus platforms. One set of doors is being removed and another is being pinned open to improve pedestrian traffic flow into and out of the station during peak periods. Permanent adjustments will be implemented once designs are completed.
Tunney’s Pasture canopy
Staff are reviewing two different design options to install a canopy at Tunney’s Pasture to provide additional weather coverage to pedestrians. Installation timing will be confirmed this week.
Staff are moving ahead with the installation of straps hanging from horizontal bars on trains. We are currently working with the vehicle manufacturer, Alstom, and with safety engineers on the placement of the straps and other considerations that are part of rail safety requirements.
We are examining several improvements to improve door reliability and minimize the impact of door issues. Updates will be provided as we progress on these items.
We have reviewed our troubleshooting process around door faults and have made adjustments to ensure that it is being applied consistently.
Additional messaging about doors
Staff are rolling out paper hangers on trains to reinforce messaging about train doors. Installation is scheduled to begin this weekend. Staff are also working on changing pre-recorded announcements to further assist customers with courtesy and safety at doors.
Platform door alignment
Staff are installing markings on the platform floors of all stations to guide customers on where to align at the doors to assist other customers as they step off trains. The signs at Lyon Station were installed overnight on October 17 and installation will continue throughout the system.
Platform markings to reduce crowding
Staff are installing markings on platforms at key locations to encourage customers to spread out along the platform and use all of the doors while boarding.
Wayfinding at Stations
Staff are installing floor decals at Tunney’s Pasture stations to help customers more easily identify the two trains platforms. This work is scheduled for completion this week.
Dwell time review
Staff are currently reviewing and monitoring dwell times (the length of time train doors are open) station-by-station along Line 1, at to accommodate customer volumes. Time has been added at Parliament, uOttawa, Hurdman, Lyon, and Rideau stations.
Train operators also have the ability to extend dwell times at busy stations when required.
Train Control Management System (TCMS)
We have completed an assessment of the onboard TCMS systems, which monitors all the train’s systems and subsystems. The systems have been calibrated to reduce occurrences of TCMS faults. We are currently testing new TCMS software and, if the test results are positive, we will begin documenting and implementing upgrades across the fleet this month.
Technicians on Line 1 trains
Dedicated technicians continue to be deployed on trains to respond to door, mechanical or system issues immediately. This deployment will continue at least until the end of December and further if necessary.
For the #reallybigservicechange, as with any network service change, we anticipate a two to three-week transition period during which customers and our operations adjust and stablilize. Some customers are changing their travel times and routes. We are monitoring all routes and tracking data and comments from Councillors, customers and staff. Based on the data and feedback, adjustments are being made where we see repetitive issues or areas of major concern.
R1 replacement bus service
In situations where rail service is disrupted for all or a segment of O-Train Line 1, R1 replacement bus service may be implemented. For planned service disruptions, preparations to implement R1 service will be done well in advance. Whereas for unplanned disruptions, the nature of the operational approach and decision to implement R1 service depends on various factors such as the time of day, frequency of the train service, and the nature of the disruption. Depending on the nature of the disruption, staff attempt to troubleshoot and resolve any issues and immediately begin preparations to implement R1 service, if required.
When trains can continue to operate along the line through the time of the disruption, by using a single-track for a portion of the line, and if that service provides enough capacity for all customers travelling at that time of day, then replacement bus service is typically not required. If after 15 minutes, the issue cannot be rectified, R1 service will be implemented. When R1 service is required, the replacement bus service will operate parallel to Line 1. Customers will find permanent R1 bus stops in close proximity to all Line 1 stations, audible announcements will be made to help direct customers and staff will be deployed to assist customers during a service disruption.
Blair Station Elevator
Many customers have provided feedback about the reliability of the original north-side elevator at Blair Station. Although this was not part of the Confederation Line construction project, staff are identifying the necessary funds to replace it with a modern elevator. Staff are working on plans and timelines and will provide further updates.
Staff in red vests
O-Train Ambassadors will continue to be deployed at Line 1 stations at least until December 2019, and further if necessary.
Suicide prevention messaging
Suicide and suicide prevention are important public health issues. We know the devastating impact it has on families and our community. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) supports suicide prevention efforts in the community, and OC Transpo has been working closely with OPH around suicide prevention for many years. With the launch of O-Train Line 1, OPH and OC Transpo, in partnership with the Ottawa Distress Centre, worked together to develop suicide prevention messages that are known to help someone in distress on or near an O-Train Line 1 platform. This messaging is being reinforced and supplemented by messaging on octranspo.com and on social media.
Nicholas Street lane closure, Saturday October 19
On Saturday, October 19 from 7 am until 4 pm, the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) will be closing the right-hand lane on Nicholas Street northbound between uOttawa Station and Laurier Avenue. The closure is required to safely remove temporary concrete barriers. Once the barriers are removed, RTG can begin work to realign a section of median on Nicholas near uOttawa Station as well as proceed with the reconnection of Waller Street to Nicholas Street, south of Laurier Avenue. This closure will not impact traffic movement through the Nicholas/Laurier intersection.
October 11, 2019
One of the most common issues for all rail operations are door faults. Doors on a busy train system, such as ours, open frequently. Daily, our doors open approximately 86,000 times. Similar issues are common in light rail operations throughout North America. For the most part, door faults to date have caused minimal delays for OC Transpo customers. The train doors are also equipped with a sensitive edge, which means that if there is something blocking the doors, like a backpack or a person, the door would open until the obstruction is removed. The train can only depart the station if the doors are clear and fully closed. The feature of the trains, including the doors, are designed with safety and accessibility at the forefront.
O-Train Line 1 is not only new, but very busy. We are experiencing hundreds of thousands of new customers learning the system for the first time. We are North America’s busiest light rail line and adapting to the new train service is part of our city’s ready for rail journey. We are committed to helping everyone through the process and giving customers everything they need to know and do to use the system safely and properly.
Tiered response protocol
As with all modern train systems, doors have many features to ensure safety is never compromised and all doors must be in a fully closed and locked position for trains to move.
In most cases when a door fault occurs, the Electric Rail Operator (ERO) can attend to the door and resolve the problem in a timely manner. When the ERO and a technician on site are unable to resolve the issue, the train is cleared of passengers and placed out of service.
We are taking immediate action to resolve issues, minimise delays and communicate with our customers.
We continue to remind customers not to hold doors. It is unsafe and can cause delays to service. As the train approaches a stop, customers wishing to exit the train should move towards the door. If it is not their stop, they should make space to allow other passengers to exit the train easily. Customers are also reminded to leave plenty of room on the platform for other customers exiting a train and to move away from all doors once they have boarded the train.
OC Transpo has launched a train-specific customer etiquette campaign with the opening of O-Train Line 1 to help inform our customers about best practices to keep everyone safe and moving smoothly.
O-Train Ambassadors assigned to platforms
To assist our customers and reduce future incidences of door faulting we are deploying customer representatives to platforms to remind customers:
- to stand clear of doorways for loading and unloading
- not to run for trains; and
- not to hold doors.
Improvements to Stations
Bus stop adjustments
At Blair Station some bus routes have been reassigned to pick up customers at different stops, to reduce congestion on the platform and bus roadway;
Bus platform expansions
At Tunney’s Pasture Station:
- To improve customer circulation, we widened the north bus platform and paved a walking path behind the shelters. We opened a similar paved area behind the shelters on the south bus platform;
- The additional space on both platforms provides more room for customers to queue and will reduce conflict between customers who are waiting or in the process of boarding and those who are walking along the platform to their stop;
A railing on the north side of Tunney’s Pasture Station has been extended to help keep customers safe along the edge of the bus roadway.
Improvements to Bus Operations
Operations removed through downtown
The network service change on October 6 brought into effect the full advantages of Line 1, including:
- Increases to bus reliability throughout the transit network, because most bus routes will no longer need to operate on detours or busy downtown streets;
- Re-opening all Nicholas Street lanes to general traffic; and
- Removing much bus traffic from Scott Street; and,
- Removing hundreds of bus trips from Albert and Slater streets and the Mackenzie King Bridge in Ottawa’s core.
New schedules for all routes
This major bus network change is the largest service change ever in the history of Ottawa and OC Transpo. The transit network has been re-designed to take full advantage of the capacity and reliability of O-Train Line 1 as the main spine of the OC Transpo system. Approximately 100 bus routes and 240,000 customer-trips each day are affected by this change.
Standby buses at major transfer stations
At Tunney’s Pasture and Blair Stations, we are staging additional buses for the morning and afternoon peak periods to ensure service reliability from stations is maintained.
Improving bus transfers at major transfer stations
To address customer concerns at Tunney’s and Blair terminal stations relating to bus transfer operations, we have made some adjustments and deployed extra resources:
- We have installed additional signage;
- We are providing additional buses;
- We have deployed additional customer service staff, supervisors and Special Constables; and
- We have also increased reminders to customers through various channels that within the paid fare zones they can board using all doors and that they do not need to tap or pay. This is one of the areas identified as adding extra time to the operations that is not required at Tunney’s and Blair terminal stations.
Train Control Management System (TCMS)
The Train Control Management System (TCMS) is the onboard computer that controls each train’s systems and subsystems. When the TCMS experiences a fault, the recovery process involves a reset. Similar to a personal computer, this reset process involves rebooting the system and engaging technical support staff.
If the TCMS cannot be reset, we initiate the response procedures for this type of incident. Single-track diversions are implemented to bypass the immobilized train. Station announcements, council updates, customer updates using all channels are immediately deployed and Supplemental bus service may be implemented. In addition, buses can be directed to continue beyond the affected stations to enable customers to continue with their commute.
Improved Communications to Customers
In the event of a delay to service on O-Train Line 1, OC Transpo has a communication plan in place to alert customers of the delay and provide them with timely service updates so that, if required, they can consider alternatives and adjust their travel plans accordingly.
OC Transpo alerts customers about train delays using the following channels:
- Audio announcements on trains;
- Information displayed on screens in trains;
- Audio announcements in stations;
- Alerts displayed on information screens in stations;
- Twitter (@OCTranspoLive and @OCTranspoDirect);
- octranspo.com (both on home page banner and in the service updates);
- Subscription-based SMS and email notifications;
- Automated telephone recordings on the customer service and information line; and, in some cases,
- Signage at stations.
To ensure the timely and effective delivery of alerts to customers, the selection of channels we use to notify customers of service delays is determined by the duration of the delay and the resulting impact to customers.
Short delays have a low impact to customers and primarily affect those on the affected train or in the affected station; therefore, announcements are provided only to customers on the affected train or affected station. Information is not provided via social media for these localized and short delays, so as to preserve that channel for delays that are more widespread and which could affect customers’ travel plans before they enter the system.
Longer delays have a greater impact on customers and on the system, and so we provide alerts on trains and stations, on octranspo.com, on social media, and through our notification system, in order to alert customers before they enter a station or begin their travel.
We have prepared standard alerts in both languages to notify customers about various incidents or service disruptions; these messages have been crafted in advance and in consultation with other transit agencies and experts in the field. The alerts are concise and contain information advising customers of the impact to service and the information they need to know in order to adjust their travel on the system accordingly. The messaging used in alerts is the same or similar across all communication channels in order to ensure the information we provide to customers is delivered in a clear and consistent manner.
It should be emphasized that the priority for any alert that goes beyond the notification of customers on trains or in stations is to ensure that the message delivered to customers is accurate, timely, posted in both official languages and tells customers what they need to know to adjust their travel (for instance, “Line 1 is currently not operating. R1 replacement bus service is now in operation.”). These factors will influence each unique situation and be guided by operational experience, best practice and decision-making by staff directly aware of the on-the-ground operational information. Experience from other transit agencies has told us that an over-emphasis on speed of communication over targeted, accurate, and validated information can result in a detrimental customer experience.
Important information for customers
We have launched a new train-specific customer education campaign with the opening of O-Train Line 1. This messaging is at all Line 1 stations, in the trains and on social media. For example, customers are asked to not hold the train doors as this behavior is unsafe and delays service. We will continue to update and adjust messaging as we learn more about how customers are using the system.
The train etiquette campaign includes messaging about:
- Not to hold the train doors open;
- Accessible stations and trains;
- Safety on the platform and in trains;
- Fare-paid zones; and,
- Bicycle boarding.
The Alstom Citadis trains have been tested on O-Train Line 1 in snow conditions over the past two winters and are designed to withstand temperatures of -38 degrees Celsius, before wind chill. The trains have been tested at the National Research Council’s cold weather testing facility, which included subjecting the vehicles to extreme cold temperatures to ensure that the trains and its systems and subsystems can perform at -40 degrees Celsius. Out on the tracks, the trains have been run as part of the RTG’s testing and commissioning activities during a variety of weather conditions, including snow, freezing rain, ice pellets and other conditions specific to Ottawa.
Rideau Transit Group (RTG), and Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) as the maintainer, are responsible for ensuring that the Confederation Line is maintained throughout the 30-year maintenance term, including maintenance during winter storm events. These activities include ensuring that the tracks are cleared of snow and that trains can run safely in winter conditions.
RTG has purchased snow-clearing equipment to maintain line during winter storm events, including a Knox Kershaw KBR-860, which is equipped with a snow blower and a rotary snow broom, a Geismar KGTronic machine, which is equipped with a blade plow and bucket, and a hi-rail adapted skid steer machine, which is equipped with snow cleaning accessories. Additionally, hot air blowers are used to keep the mechanical switches clear of snow and ice.
The City has been working closely with RTM to establish a winter operation plan to ensure that all appropriate measures from station platform heaters to track snow clearing equipment can be deployed in a timely and effective manner.
We are inspecting heaters at all stations and making repairs as necessary. That work is scheduled to be completed this week.
October 10, 2019
Updated letter to OC Transpo customers
To OC Transpo customers,
Below is an update on this morning's transit operations, with an explanation of the events that caused delays for many customers travelling through downtown. We understand the inconvenience and frustration you have experienced and apologize wholeheartedly. We are focused and committed to doing what is necessary to ensure that we provide the reliable O-Train service that Ottawa expects and deserves.
October 8, 2019
Letter from the General Manager
To all OC Transpo customers,
Between approximately 8:05 and 9:30 this morning, we had an operational problem on O-Train Line 1. I am writing to apologize for the delay and inconvenience this caused for you, and to explain what happened.