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OC Transpo commemorating 100th anniversary of Ottawa's first bus route

OC Transpo has installed commemorative bus stops for the 100th anniversary of the first bus line in Ottawa. (Courtesty: Nick Hauser) OC Transpo has installed commemorative bus stops for the 100th anniversary of the first bus line in Ottawa. (Courtesty: Nick Hauser)

OC Transpo is marking 100 years since the first bus service in the city of Ottawa began operating.

Riders travelling between the Elgin Street/Argyle Avenue and Main Street/Clegg Street bus stops will notice the stop flags have changed to commemorate the occasion.

The first bus line was operated where the 5, 55 and 56 lines now run.

OC Transpo's 'virtual museum,' available online, showcases the growth of public transit in the city.

The Ottawa Electric Railway Company (OER), the original transit commission in the city, began running gas-powered buses on Feb. 25, 1924. The route would operate from the south end of Elgin Street, where the Ottawa Police Service Headquarters is now, cross the Pretoria Bridge, proceed down Hawthorne Avenue, on to Main Street and travel south to Clegg Street.

Horse-drawn carriages had been the preferred method of transportation until 1891, when the OER was founded and electric trams replaced them.

"The 1920s would be a pivotal decade for transit service in the Nation’s Capital," OC Transpo says in a blog post

"With the explosive popularity of motorized vehicles, the OER began introducing gasoline-powered buses into its fleet to run to extend the reach of their service."

The service operated from 7 a.m. to midnight, every 15 minutes. The fare was 5 cents.

An Ottawa bus in the 1930s (OC Transpo)However, streetcars became the preferred method of transportation during that decade and the bus was replaced by tracks later that year.

All streetcars in the city were discontinued in favour of buses in 1959.

Today, OC Transpo operates 170 bus routes, serving nearly 340,000 riders a day.

Route of Ottawa's first bus line (OC Transpo) Top Stories


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