LRT is here: Everything you need to know
Published Friday, September 13, 2019 6:00AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:54PM EDT
The O-Train Confederation Line is set to open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Here is what you need to know if you plan on riding the trains.
Where does the Confederation Line go?
The Confederation Line runs 12.5 kilometres from Blair Station in the east to Tunney’s Pasture in the west, including a 2.5 kilometre tunnel through the downtown core. According to OC Transpo, it takes about 25 minutes to ride the line from end to end. Trains can reach a speed of up to 80 km/h.
In total, there are 13 stations: Blair, Cyrville, St-Laurent, Tremblay, Hurdman, Lees, uOttawa, Rideau, Parliament, Lyon, Pimisi, Bayview and Tunney’s Pasture.
The Confederation Line also connects to the O-Train Trillium Line at Bayview Station.
Hours of the Confederation Line
The LRT system will not run 24/7.
The operating hours are:
Monday to Thursday: 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday: 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday: 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday and holidays: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
When the Confederation Line is not running overnight, there will be select Rapid bus routes extended into downtown from the east, west and south.
How often will trains come?
During peak times, trains will arrive at every station every five minutes or less. There will be frequent service all day, and every 15 minutes after midnight.
The city says schedule and travel times will be predictable and reliable. Each two-car train will have room for 600 passengers, and the schedule is designed to never leave people waiting.
All stations will have digital screens showing departure times for the next two trains.
Cost to ride the Confederation Line
Fares to ride the Confederaton Line will be the same as a bus fare.
From Sept. 14 to Sept. 30, regular fares will be $3.50 for a single ticket, or $3.45 if you use a Presto card.
Fares are scheduled to increase by 10 cents on Oct. 1, along with adult monthly passes.
Seniors will continue to have free fare on Wednesdays and Sundays, but they will need a Presto card set with a seniors discount if they are passing through a fare gate. Children aged five years old and under ride the trains and buses for free.
There will also be free transfer from the bus to train, and train to bus until your transfer time expires. Transfer times last 90 minutes on weekdays and up to two hours on evenings and weekends.
For a full list of fares and monthly pass prices, visit the OC Transpo website.
Where will I buy my fare?
There will be ticket machines at every station. Passengers can buy a new Presto card, load their Presto care or buy single-fare tickets. The machines accept cash, debit and credit cards.
Presto cards can also be loaded in advance online at prestocard.ca, by calling 1-877-387-6163 or in person at OC Transpo customer service centres, select City of Ottawa client service centres or participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores.
How will I get through the gate?
The new fare gates at Confederation Line stations will require a Presto card, U-Pass, STO Multi card, or OC Transpo bus transfer. Paper monthly passes and paper bus tickets will not be accepted. Passengers will need to tap a smart card or scan a transfer at the gate.
How will I transfer?
Most passengers will have a bus connection to and from the Confederation Line to destinations that are not downtown.
When you pass through a major station, like Hurdman, Blair, Tunney’s Pasture and Bayview, on the Confederation Line, you will not have to pass through a fare gate or pay again. Buses will drop you off at a platform. These are called ‘fare-paid zones.’
If you are not transferring at Hurdman, Blair, Tunney’s Pasture or Greenboro you will need to go through a fare gate before making your way to the train platform.
How will my daily commute change?
Suburban commuters will likely experience the biggest impact. They will no longer take a single bus into downtown Ottawa, and instead transfer onto a train.
Regular OC Transpo bus routes will be running alongside the Confederation Line until Oct. 6. After Oct. 6, 86 OC Transpo bus routes will change, while 52 routes will remain unaffected by LRT. Some major bus routes, including the 91, 94 and 95, will be given new numbers and will no longer travel downtown.
Visit OC Transpo's website for details on how your route might change.
Where are the washrooms?
There will be washrooms at just four of the 13 transit stations: Tunney’s Pasture, Bayview, Hurdman and Blair.
Where will there be Wi-Fi and cellular service?
In 2017, the city signed an agreement with Telus to provide cell coverage in the 2.5 kilometre underground tunnel.
There will also be free Wi-Fi at the three underground stations: Lyon, Parliament and Rideau. The city is aiming to have free Wi-Fi at all stations by the end of the year.
What about accessibility?
All 13 stations have elevators and nine of the stations have escalators.
There will be accessible fare gates for passengers with mobility devices. Ticket machines will have raised text and Braille, along with both video and audio.
Can I bring my pets?
Like on buses, small pets are allowed as long as they are in a carrier or crate that does not take up a seat. Registered service animals can be on a leash or harness.
For additional information, you can visit the official Confederation Line website.