Operated by the OC Transport corporation in the Canadian city of Ottawa, the O-Train is the light rail transit service in the city. The present service is operational on an existing railway line, aligned in a north-south direction between Greensboro and Bayview over a distance of roughly eight kilometers. Although it is not affected by road traffic, the service shares the railway infrastructure with Ottawa Central that operates its freight services to the National Research Council along this route once the regular Metro services closes for the day.
Ever since it was opened in the month of October in 2001, the O-Train service in Ottawa has witnessed exponential growth and patronage from the commuters over the past decade.
Some of the highlights of the present operational stretch between Bayview and Greensboro are as follows:
● Bayview Station is a point of interchange with the Transitway Service and is located closest to the region around downtown Ottawa. It sits at the end of a stub-end track and is a branch-off from the conventional mainline, passing directly beneath the Transitway and Wellington Street overpasses.
● Carling Station sits at the junction of Preston Street and Carling Avenue. To the south of this station, the line passes through a tunnel and under the Dow’s Lake.
● The Carleton University area is catered to by the Carleton Station. It also features the only passing loop along the stretch, owing to which Carleton Station has separate platforms and trains that run in different directions. South of this station, the train crosses River Rideau along a bridge. The schedule for this route has been planned in such a way that the southbound train arrives first, pulls into the station and proceeds on its way out as soon as the northbound train makes an entry.
● The Confederation Station, located at the crossroad of Bronson Avenue and Heron Road, mainly caters to the needs of commuters coming to offices of Government of Canada located around the area of Confederations Heights.
● Greensboro Station is another point of interchange with a large station along the Transitway service. It is located by the shopping center at South Keys and is well known because of its large and well spaced park-and-ride lot.
The O-Train service has received its fair share of criticism from the local people who consider it to be a waste of taxpayer’s money and resources. They claim that the service has not done anything to improve the overall communication in the city and was simply set up in areas that already had a railway system. Plans are in place to expand the network to some of the other regions around Ottawa- the east-west line is expected to be the most significant addition- with the intention of addressing commuter hardships around those regions.
O-Train Line Map
The O-Train line serves 5 stations over a track length of 8 km (5 miles). It runs between Bayview station to Greenboro station. Map of O-Train showing its lines and stations. Click on the map to enlarge it or Download O-Train Map in PDF.
The O-Train is well equipped to handle the parking needs of their passengers and offer park and ride facilities to them at almost all of the stations. It can hold up to 7000 cars in total, which is a lot of cars. Predominantly the parking facilities are for free, with the only exception being anytime before 11:00 am in the morning. In such a case, a parking fee needs to be paid to access the parking lots. This is applicable for weekdays only. The passengers are also given the option to book their own parking space.
For more information on the park and ride facilities provided by the O-train, you can visit the official website at: http://www.octranspo1.com/routes/park_and_ride
The train begins operations at around 06:00 am in the morning, and runs till 00:00 am, midnight. For a detailed schedule of the trains route wise, you can visit the official website at: http://www.octranspo1.com/travelplanner/route
O-Train Rules and Tips
All animals aren’t allowed to ride on the O-Train. The only exception being registered animals. The passengers who use the Presto e-purse get in from the back door, while those with cash tickets use the front door. This creates a kind of order and avoids the general chaos seen in a station. Before getting on to the train, let the current passengers of the train exit first. It is requested to refrain from the usage of foul language.
For more information on some rules tips, you can visit the official website at: http://www.octranspo1.com/safe-travels
O-Train Tickets and Fares
The O-Train has a wide array of tickets to cater to the diverse needs of their customers. For those passengers who wish to use the metro occasionally, per ride tickets are available. Those people who wish to make payment through the Presto e-purse, have to pay a lesser fare in comparison to those who purchase tickets. It costs $2.84 and $3.55, respectively. Monthly and daily passes are also available for the frequent travellers. A day pass costs $8.30, while the monthly pass is priced at $103.25. These are the prices for a regular adult. Senior citizens of the age of 65+ benefit from special discounted prices. A per ride ticket paid through the Presto e-purse costs $2.14, while the cash required to purchase the same ticket is $2.70. The monthly ticket for them is priced at just $41.75.
For kids in the age group of 6-12, a per ride ticket costs $1.90 in cash and $1.57 for the Presto e-purse users. A family of 6 people, with a maximum of 2 of children above the age of 12 can purchase an all day family pass for just $8.30. The prices of the tickets for children between the age of 13-19 is pretty similar to that of the adults.
All children of the age of 5 and under, get to travel for free.
For more information on the fares, tickets and cards, you can visit the official website at: http://www.octranspo1.com/tickets-and-passes