OTTAWA -- OC Transpo is reducing bus service this week due to a drop in ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Monday, conventional buses will move to a Saturday schedule on many routes across the city.

Transportation Services general manager John Manconi announced the change in schedules after staff noticed a drop of between “70 and 90 per cent in customer volumes” on buses and the trains.

Here’s a look at the changes to the conventional bus service, effective Monday March 30

  • Weekday service will move to Saturday service levels on many routes
  • Many routes, which normally operate only on weekdays, will continue to run but at modified service levels
  • Rural weekly Shopper services will continue as usual
  • Saturday and Sunday service will operate as usual

Complete schedules and details of the changes on specific routes are available at

In a memo to Councillors on Sunday, Manconi said OC Transpo bus operators will report instances where buses are full to the point that “physical distancing is not being achieved on board or where buses are full to the point that customers are choosing to wait for the next trip.”

Manconi says OC Transpo has the resources to increase capacity on trips by adding additional buses or by assigning a larger bus to the route.

“Spare buses will be strategically placed across the city for deployment should situations arise where safe physical distancing may not be possible.”

OC Transpo customers are reminded to board the buses through the rear doors.

Last Friday, OC Transpo reduced service on the Confederation Line and the Trillium Line due to the drop in passenger volume.

The Confederation Line’s trains are arriving every 6 to 8 minutes at peak periods and every 10 to 16 minutes at other times of the day and on weekends.

Trains are running every 15 minutes on the Trillium Line.