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City of Ottawa makes December free transit official after resumption of light rail service

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city says 11 trains are currently required for full service to meet current demand.
2019-08-23 LRT Ottawa ticket presto
Lyon Station on Ottawa's Confederation Line, August 23, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/ CityNews

Public transit will officially be free for the month of December in Ottawa.

The ruling was approved by city council on October 14, in recognition of the considerable disruption faced by local transit customers following the suspension of O-Train Line 1 service on September 19.

Mayor Jim Watson said free transit would be delayed if OC Transpo was not back to a full compliment of trains needed by December 1, but the city announced Friday, November 12, that it expects full service to be provided by the end of this month. 

Service re-launched on Friday with seven trains in operation, along with one spare. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city says 11 trains are currently required for full service to meet current demand.

From December 1 to 31, fare gates at all O-Train stations will be opened and fare boxes and smartcard readers on all OC Transpo buses will be covered.

Monthly December passes will not be sold. Presto customers with auto-renew subscriptions will see a one-cent charge, which will be credited back to their account. January monthly passes will go on sale in mid-December.

U-Pass customers or customers with a school board issued pass do not need to tap their card at O-Train stations or on OC Transpo buses. For the month of December, the city will not charge school boards for the Presto cards they provide to their students or the post-secondary institutions for the U-Passes they provide to their students who live in Ottawa.

All Para Transpo trips during December will be at no charge. 

Regular fares continue to apply to transit customers travelling on the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) system. Customers using STO who had a monthly pass on their Presto card in November and U-Pass customers should tap their card as they board but no charges will be applied. Other customers will need to pay the applicable STO fare.

Customers who have questions can call OC Transpo Customer Service at 613-560-5000.

OC Transpo will provide more details to customers through social media, alerts, signage and announcements at stations and on buses. 




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Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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