City of Ottawa celebrates launch of the Confederation Line – OttawaMatters.com

City of Ottawa celebrates launch of the Confederation Line - OttawaMatters.com
LRT launches today: Everything you need to know
After years of planning, construction and multiple missed deadlines, Ottawa's $2.1-billion Confederation Line will finally welcome its first paying LRT riders this afternoon.

Before the public starts pouring through the gates, however, Mayor Jim Watson was joined by representatives from the provincial and federal governments at Tunney's Pasture station for the official launch.

"The future of transit in Ottawa starts now," Watson said. "Today really is the result of years of planning and extremely hard work."

"I know that it hasn't always been easy for our residents during this construction period and I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Ottawa for your patience and understanding."

The 13-station line is scheduled to open to the public at 2 p.m., when it will begin ferrying passengers from just west of the downtown core all the way out to Gloucester.

For now, a single fare will cost $3.45 if you use a Presto card and $3.50 if you buy a ticket from a fare machine.

Caroline Mulroney, Ontario's minister of transportation, offered her congratulations on the debut of the city's first LRT system. 

"Ottawa residents deserve a world class transportation system that gets both them and the economy moving," she said. "Today, that's exactly what they are getting."

The province has committed $1.2 billion for Phase 2 of Ottawa's LRT system in addition to contributing up to $600-million to the Confederation Line. 

During the inaugural ride, OC Transpo general manager John Manconi said he's 'honoured' to be part of the project. 

"I'm happy for the city, residents, our employees, our staff and our customers, can't forget about them," he said. "They've been so patient, this is for them."

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

The O-Train Confederation Line is set to open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Here is what you need to know if you plan on riding the trains.

The Confederation Line runs 12.5 kilometres from Blair Station in the east to Tunneys Pasture in the west, including a 2.5 kilometre tunnel through the downtown core. According to OC Transpo, it takes about 25 minutes to ride the line from end to end. Trains can reach a speed of up to 80 km/h.

In total, there are 13 stations: Blair, Cyrville, St-Laurent, Tremblay, Hurdman, Lees, uOttawa, Rideau, Parliament, Lyon, Pimisi, Bayview and Tunneys Pasture.

When the Confederation Line is not running overnight, there will be select Rapid bus routes extended into downtown from the east, west and south.

During peak times, trains will arrive at every station every five minutes or less. There will be frequent service all day, and every 15 minutes after midnight.

The city says schedule and travel times will be predictable and reliable. Each two-car train will have room for 600 passengers, and the schedule is designed to never leave people waiting.

From Sept. 14 to Sept. 30, regular fares will be $3.50 for a single ticket, or $3.45 if you use a Presto card.

Seniors will continue to have free fare on Wednesdays and Sundays, but they will need a Presto card set with a seniors discount if they are passing through a fare gate. Children aged five years old and under ride the trains and buses for free.

There will also be free transfer from the bus to train, and train to bus until your transfer time expires. Transfer times last 90 minutes on weekdays and up to two hours on evenings and weekends.

There will be ticket machines at every station. Passengers can buy a new Presto card, load their Presto care or buy single-fare tickets. The machines accept cash, debit and credit cards.

Presto cards can also be loaded in advance online at prestocard.ca, by calling 1-877-387-6163 or in person at OC Transpo customer service centres, select City of Ottawa client service centres or participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores.

The new fare gates at Confederation Line stations will require a Presto card, U-Pass, STO Multi card, or OC Transpo bus transfer. Paper monthly passes and paper bus tickets will not be accepted. Passengers will need to tap a smart card or scan a transfer at the gate.

Most passengers will have a bus connection to and from the Confederation Line to destinations that are not downtown.

When you pass through a major station, like Hurdman, Blair, Tunneys Pasture and Bayview, on the Confederation Line, you will not have to pass through a fare gate or pay again. Buses will drop you off at a platform. These are called fare-paid zones.

If you are not transferring at Hurdman, Blair, Tunneys Pasture or Greenboro you will need to go through a fare gate before making your way to the train platform.

Suburban commuters will likely experience the biggest impact. They will no longer take a single bus into downtown Ottawa, and instead transfer onto a train.

Regular OC Transpo bus routes will be running alongside the Confederation Line until Oct. 6. After Oct. 6, 86 OC Transpo bus routes will change, while 52 routes will remain unaffected by LRT. Some major bus routes, including the 91, 94 and 95, will be given new numbers and will no longer travel downtown.

There will be washrooms at just four of the 13 transit stations: Tunneys Pasture, Bayview, Hurdman and Blair.

In 2017, the city signed an agreement with Telus to provide cell coverage in the 2.5 kilometre underground tunnel.

There will also be free Wi-Fi at the three underground stations: Lyon, Parliament and Rideau. The city is aiming to have free Wi-Fi at all stations by the end of the year.

There will be accessible fare gates for passengers with mobility devices. Ticket machines will have raised text and Braille, along with both video and audio.

Like on buses, small pets are allowed as long as they are in a carrier or crate that does not take up a seat. Registered service animals can be on a leash or harness.

The O-Train Confederation Line is set to open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Here is what you need to know if you plan on riding the rails.