New to Transit
New to Ottawa? Taking public transit for the first time? Below is a broad outline of Ottawa's public transit system - OC Transpo. In each of the main categories you will find a brief description of the service(s) provided, as well as a link or directions on how to locate more detailed information on that particular subject within this site.
OC Transpo: At a Glance
- Schedule times are based on typical driving conditions and may vary. Please arrive at your stop a few minutes early to allow for any fluctuations in schedule. Schedules are most accurate for bus stops close to the beginning of a route, or close to major "time-points" (ie: Rideau Centre, Tunney's Pasture, Baseline Station, etc.).
- If you are a passholder or hold a valid transfer (POP), you may board at the rear doors of the long "articulated" buses; otherwise buses should always be boarded via the front door.
- Buses can be exited using either the front or rear doors.
- At a stop that serves more than one route, hand-signal the approaching bus you wish to stop so that the driver knows you wish to board.
- Use the bell (by pulling the cord found along the edges of the bus or pressing the red buttons placed throughout the bus) to signal the next stop is your stop.
- Ensure those who need priority seating are able to access the designated priority seats at all times.
- If using cash, ensure you have exact change.
For more info, please refer to the Customer Service FAQ.
Whether it's from Morgan's Grant to Millenium or downtown Ottawa to Manotick, OC Transpo provides comprehensive transit services to nearly one million people in Ottawa. The OC Transpo fleet has nearly 1,000 buses and three trains serving our nearly 370,000 daily riders. Visit our Routes & Maps section to find out more on OC Transpo routes and schedules.
OC Transpo offers a variety of ways to pay, from tickets to day passes, monthly passes, and annual passes. Students and seniors get discounted monthly and yearly passes, and on Wednesdays seniors ride free. If using cash, please ensure you have the exact fare as the driver cannot make change.
The DayPass is perhaps the best solution for tourists and occasional riders who take multiple trips in one day. As the name implies, the DayPass is limited to the day of purchase, provides unlimited rides, and on weekends and statutory holidays can be used as fare for the whole family. For more information on our administration centres and Ticket vendors, please visit our Tickets/Passes section.
The Transitway is a dedicated system of roadways open only to OC Transpo and emergency vehicles. Since public vehicles are forbidden access to the Transitway it is unaffected by regular traffic delays. This means quick, comfortable, and easy travel from one end of the city to the other, no matter what time of day!
Transitway Stations are convenient transfer points located next to major shopping centres, employment areas, schools, and high density housing. It provides a rapid transit to major destination points such as the O-Train, Ottawa International Airport, the train station, and Ottawa's downtown core. There are also seven Park & Ride lots located on the outskirts of the city (see below for more information on Park & Ride lots), providing an alternative for regular commuters while reducing congestion on Ottawa's roads and highways.
Ottawa's five O-Train stations are fully integrated with OC Transpo's bus service, creating seamless travel between rail and regular commuter systems. Moving from train to bus, and vice versa, is simple and hassle-free. O-Train tickets are sold at O-Train stations on the platform. O-Train tickets can be exchanged for a transfer when you board a bus. On green express routes, a top-up of one bus ticket or $1.00 is required with your O-Train ticket. On Rural Express routes, top-up is $2.00 or two tickets.
And ... coming soon: Ottawa’s Rapid Transit Network – a new light-rail line running from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Rd. Station, making transit through downtown Ottawa faster, safer, and cleaner. Keep and eye open for details on the expansion of Ottawa's light-rail at www.ottawalightrail.ca.
To check on current O-Train stops,
see the O-Train map.
OC Transpo has different route planners to help you find the quickest and most efficient route to your destination. For your on-line trip planning needs, why not try our Quick Planner or the Advanced Planner.
Maps and schedules are also available in our Routes & Maps section and at OC Transpo sales offices. They can also be found at many bus stops and transit stations.
You can also call 613-741-4390 to get transit info from our Transit Information Centre.
Park & Ride is a program that allows commuters to escape the stress of traffic and save on gas by taking the bus to work. It's simple: drive to the Park & Ride lot nearest your point of departure, park your car in one of the designated spots provided, and catch the next bus at the station located beside the parking lot. See our Park & Ride page for more information on parking lots and our Gold Park & Ride permits.
Conventional OC Transpo buses are an option for people with mobility impairments - 100% of the OC Transpo fleet is now accessible. Many features and services are available to provide access to OC Transpo buses and trains. Please visit our Accessible Transit page for more information.
For those whose situation prevents them from being able to use OC Transpo's accessible buses there is Para Transpo - a door to door transportation service for people with disabilities. Para Transpo serves both urban and rural Ottawa, as well as Hull and Quebec, providing an ideal solution for alternative transit. If you are a Para Transpo member visiting from another city Please see our Para Transpo page for more information.
OC Transpo runs a number of different routes:
- Black Routes run seven days a week, generally all day long.
- Red Routes are peak service routes and run only during rush hour.
- Express Routes (green) run only during rush hour and require premium fare.
- Rapid Transit Routes (ie: the 95, 96) generally run all day and use the Transitway, thus avoiding rush-hour traffic.
Sales & Information Centres
Full range of OC Transpo fare products are available