The Plan

Why are we building it?

As Ottawa continues to grow, we need a world-class transit system that will move our world-class city more quickly, efficiently and confidently. With public transportation at near capacity in the downtown core, and our highways at near capacity during peak hours, the time for that transit system is now.

But the $2.1-billion Confederation Line is more than the solution to our long-term transit needs—it will also generate significant economic, environmental, cultural and social benefits for the City of Ottawa and its residents, today and in the future.

Our Transit Challenge

  • Ottawa’s population is projected to grow 30 percent by 2031.
  • Public transportation is already near or at capacity in the downtown core.
  • Every new bus added in the downtown slows our existing buses.
  • Ottawa’s prosperity depends on moving people more efficiently.

Why light rail transit?

Increased Capacity

Increased Capacity
The Confederation Line will launch with a planned peak capacity of 10,700 passengers per hour in each direction, with potential to grow to over 18,000 passengers per hour in each direction by 2031.

Faster Commuting

Reliable Commuting
With a tunnel through the downtown core, travel time between Blair Road and Tunney’s Pasture Station will be less than 24 minutes—any time of day. Time saved is projected to provide a net economic benefit to the City of $276 million between 2019 and 2031.

Lower Emissions

Lower Emissions
Replacing bus and car trips with the LRT’s zero emission electric trains, means reducing carbon dioxide by approximately 94,000 tonnes per year by 2031.

Quieter Neighborhoods

Quieter Neighbourhoods
Light rail vehicles are significantly quieter than diesel-powered buses. Replacing buses with light rail, plus an underground downtown corridor, means a reduction in both air and noise pollution.

Operational Savings

Operational Savings
By 2021, the Confederation Line will produce a savings of $16M a year. These savings will grow as ridership increases, given that the system provides significantly greater capacity at a lower unit cost than is possible with buses.

Encouraging Ridership

Encouraging Ridership
Studies suggest that the speed, comfort, and reliability of LRT will lead to a 9% increase in ridership. That means 4.6 million new trips in the first year alone—and fewer cars on our roads.

Creating Jobs

Creating Jobs
The investment in LRT is projected to generate more than 20,000 person-years of direct and indirect employment, and provide a total economic output of approximately $3.2 billion.

Take a tour of the Confederation Line

For an overview of the who, what, where, when, why and how of Confederation Line, watch this brief video from the Rideau Transit Group.

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You’ve learned WHY the Confederation Line will be built. Now find out HOW it is being constructed »