4 key dates as Ottawa's LRT becomes a reality

Ottawa officially has a functioning Confederation Line, so what happens next?

Now that the Confederation Line is finally completed, what comes next?

The Confederation LRT line is set to launch Sept. 14 — but that's just one important date transit riders need to keep in mind. (City of Ottawa)

Ottawa officially has a functioning Confederation Line, so what happens next?

While there is some paperwork to be done before the city takes possession of the LRT network, staff said Friday that won't prevent passengers from finally riding light rail on Sept. 14.

But that's not the only important date for transit users. Here are some of the big ones coming up. 

Sept. 1: small changes

The first change coming to the transit system will occur Sept. 1, when the city returns to its peak schedule from the current summer schedule. 

Sept. 14: opening day

The city's LRT line will launch on a Saturday.

Pat Scrimgeour, OC Transpo's director of customer systems, said while it's going to be a major transition for everyone, they're excited. 

"We're ready to help customers at every step along their journey," Scrimgeour said.

The new line, he added, will be essential for how Ottawans get around the city.   

"About two-thirds of all ridership — around 200,000 trips a day — will include travel on the O-Train," Scrimgeour said.

Once the Confederation line is up and running, the transit fare freeze implemented in January will come to an end Oct. 1. (Joanne Chianello/CBC)

Oct. 1: Fares rise

Council imposed a fare freeze in January because of the repeated delays to the LRT system, but with the LRT up and running, that will come to an end.

On average, fares will rise 2.5 per cent at the start of October. 

An adult monthly pass will go from $116.50 to $119.50. A single cash fare will rise from $3.50 to $3.60, unless you pay with Presto, in which case it will rise from $3.45 to $3.55. 

Oct. 6: Complete changeover

Many bus routes will remain the same for the first few weeks after the LRT launches, but new routes come into service Oct. 6.

Those routes will funnel people to LRT stations, and the city says it hopes the alterations will improve service in other areas as well.

Scrimgeour said it will be a big step. 

"The opening of Line 1 and the major changes to the bus route network that follow will be the largest service change ever for OC Transpo customers," Scrimgeour said.


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