4 key dates as Ottawa's LRT becomes a reality

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, staff announced Friday that won't prevent them from getting passengers riding the rail on Sept. 14.

But that's not the only date that is going to be important for transit users. Here are some of the other big dates coming up. 

Small changes  Sept. 1 

The first transition coming to the system is on Sept. 1, when the city transitions back to a peak schedule from the summer schedule that has been running. 

Opening day — Sept. 14

The city's LRT line will launch on a Saturday. Pat Scrimgeour, OC Transpo's director of customer systems, said it is going to be a major transition for everyone, but they're excited for the change. 

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

He added that the new line is going to be a core to how people get around.   

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

City of Ottawa

Fares rise  Oct. 1 

Council imposed a fare-freeze in January because of the repeated delays to the LRT system. But with the LRT up and running, fares will rise on average 2.5 per cent. 

An adult monthly pass will rise from $116.50 to $119.50. The cash fare will rise to $3.60 from $3.50, unless you pay with Presto, where it will rise from $3.45 to $3.55. 

Complete changeover  Oct. 6 

When the LRT first launches, many bus routes will remain the same for the first few weeks. 

The new routes will funnel people to LRT stations, and the city says it hopes to improve service in some areas as well.

Scrimgeour said it's a major change. 

"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."