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A new era for Ottawa transit: O-Train Line 1 enters service

The O-Train Confederation Line (aka Line 1) entered service on Saturday, Sept. 14. (Photo/Devyn Barrie)

Mayor Jim Watson today marked the official opening of O-Train Line 1, the Confederation Line, with the Honourable Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation for the Province of Ontario, and special guests. They were joined by local officials, Indigenous leaders, City of Ottawa employees, members of the Rideau Transit Group and the children and youth who provided the winning train name submissions gathered at the Tunney’s Pasture Station for the occasion.

RELATED: See if (and how) your commute will change now that the O-Train is in service.

Guests were welcomed and blessed by Albert Dumont, Elder and Spiritual Advisor for the Algonquin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. Following the formal portion of the ceremony, officials symbolically turned on the power to the system and all participants boarded the train for a ceremonial ride along the full length of the O-Train Confederation Line.

The opening of the Confederation Line is the culmination of decades of discussion, consultation, planning and construction. Since the existing O-Train Line 2, the Trillium Line, first opened in 2001, light rail transit ridership has exceeded expectations. In 2006, the City began to create plans for an expanded light rail system that would connect Ottawa’s communities and support sustainable growth across Ottawa. Council approved the Confederation Line project in December 2012 and construction began in 2013. The Confederation Line was built by the Rideau Transit Group, which won the contract to design, build and finance the project, and to maintain it for the next 30 years.

The O-Train Confederation Line is a $2.13-billion transit project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The 12.5-kilometre line connects 13 stations from Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west to Blair Station in the east. The world-class transit system also features four underground stations, including Lyon, Parliament and Rideau in the downtown core, and St-Laurent in the east. With trains arriving every five minutes or less, it is expected to carry up to 10,700 passengers per hour in each direction during weekday peak periods, making it the busiest light rail transit line in North America. With expansions to the east, west and south of Ottawa already in progress through the Stage 2 project, more and more Ottawa residents and businesses will be connected to a reliable light rail system.

The transformation of the transit system to make the light rail line its spine is the biggest transit service change in Ottawa’s history. To help customers through this period, OC Transpo will continue to operate buses on their current routes for three weeks following the opening of O-Train Line 1, giving everyone time to make the transition and the opportunity to try riding the new train. On October 6, a major bus network service change will be made to align bus routes with O-Train Line 1. Customers should use the Travel Planner at octranspo.com to find how their trip will change. More information about OC Transpo’s #reallybigservicechange will be included in the brochure that will be mailed to every household in Ottawa before October 6.

For more details, travel planning assistance, and new maps and timetables, customers should visit octranspo.com. Customers can also call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 if needed. Customers can also visit any station on O-Train Line 1 for assistance. Real-time schedule information is available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000, by texting 560560 plus the four‑digit bus stop number, or by using the OC Transpo iPhone app or one of many independent smartphone apps.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


“The Government of Ontario is proud to play a part in bringing the Confederation Line to the people of Ottawa. That’s why we are investing $600 million in the project. The new O-Train Confederation Line will provide fast, clean and reliable transit for the people of Ottawa. Our government believes in building public transit to connect people to jobs and businesses. Through projects like the new O-Train Confederation Line, we’re getting Ontario moving.”

Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, Government of Ontario

“I am delighted to welcome everyone in Ottawa to ride the O-Train Confederation Line. Today’s opening marks the transformation of Canada’s capital into a more connected and accessible city. The Confederation Line now connects Ottawa’s residents to the places they live, learn, work, shop and play. This world-class addition to our transportation system further enhances Ottawa’s standing as one of the best places to live in Canada and in the world.”

Mayor Jim Watson