Results from 2022 Transit Challenge

The third Transit Challenge in Ottawa took place September 11th to 17th during the municipal election campaign.

How did it go?

First, it was very popular - a majority of candidates participated in the challenge. People in rural areas talked about lack of options; people in suburban areas talked about poor reliability, poor connections, and uncomfortable bus shelters.

At least two candidates organized races: Erin Coffin who is running in Kanata South (ward 23) versus Transit Chair Allan Hubley posted this video to YouTube showing her and her son taking the bus from Kanata Superstore to Tanger Outlets. They raced a friend who ran the same distance. Do you want to guess which method was faster?

Kevin Hua, running in Stittsville (ward 6) posted this video: Ottawa Transit Race where he rode the bus and a friend ran from Stittsville to Bells Corner. 

Here is the 2022 Transit Challenge report with more details.

We had so many great examples of people taking the challenge seriously that it was very hard to narrow down - our report could have been 20 pages long. We hope no-one takes offense that their favourite post did not make the cut!

Here some examples of Twitter posts.

It was disappointing that some decision-makers - Allan Hubley (Chair of the Transit Commission) and senior officials at OC Transpo (for example the new General Manager Renée Amilcar) did not respond or participate.

Their refusal to ride transit is very telling.

The Ottawa Transit Riders hopes that voters will consider candidates’ views on transit when they make their decision on October 24th. Transit is an essential service in Ottawa and good, reliable service benefits us all - even people who don’t use it.

How the Ottawa Transit Challenge continues to fall short of addressing PWD’s concerns

CBC: Transit challenge returns right in the middle of an election

Ottawa transit challenge returns, ahead of municipal election | Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan


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Participants: #OttTransitChallenge2022 / #OttDéfiTranspo2022

And here's the final list of participants of the 2022 transit challenge! Note that three mayoral candidates have expressed support, though we recognize that it will prove difficult for them to do all their campaigning by transit given the gaps in our transit network...a problem in itself for municipal participation! Is it fair and democratic that you can't easily run for mayor unless you drive? / Et voici la liste finale des participants au défi transport 2022 ! Notez que trois candidats à la mairie ont exprimé leur soutien, bien que nous reconnaissions qu'il leur sera difficile de faire toute leur campagne en transport en commun étant donné les lacunes de notre réseau de transport en commun... un problème en soi pour la participation municipale ! Est-il juste et démocratique que vous ne puissiez pas facilement vous présenter à la mairie à moins de conduire et d'avoir accès à une voiture ?

While the turnout is quite good, we're disappointed to see that nobody from the city or OC Transpo wanted to even try for seven days. And extra disappointed that Allan Hubley, current chair of the transit commission, wasn't interested in participating. The people who make the decisions about our transit should be using the transit, don't you think? / Bien que le taux de participation soit assez bon, nous sommes déçus de voir que personne de la ville ou d'OC Transpo n'a voulu même essayer pendant sept jours. Et très déçus qu'Allan Hubley, actuel président de la commission des transports, n'ait pas voulu participer. Les personnes qui prennent les décisions concernant nos transports en commun devraient utiliser les transports en commun, ne pensez-vous pas ?

Name / nom Ward (if applicable) /
Quel quartier (si applicable)
Incumbent? / Titulaire ?
Tessa Franklin Ward 1 – Orléans East-Cumberland  
Rosemee Cantave Ward 1 – Orléans East-Cumberland  
Lori Stinson Ward 2 – Orléans West-Innes  
Christine Moulaison Ward 4 – Kanata North  
Kevin Hua Ward 6 – Stittsville  
Kevin Wright Ward 7 – Bay  
Adèle Rousselle-Farough Ward 7 – Bay  
Vilteau Delvas Ward 8 – College  
Wendy Davidson Ward 8 – College  
Melissa Fraser-Arnott Ward 8 – College  
Laine Johnson Ward 8 – College  
Pat McGarry Ward 8 – College  
Granda Kopytko Ward 8 – College  
Amanda Presley  Ward 9 – Knoxdale-Merivale  
Michael Wood Ward 9 – Knoxdale-Merivale  
Laura Arnold Ward 9 – Knoxdale-Merivale  
John Redins Ward 10 – Gloucester-Southgate  
Hussein El Hajj Hassan Ward 10 – Gloucester-Southgate  
Miranda Gray Ward 11 - Beacon Hill - Cyrville  
Laura Shantz Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Julie Fiala Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Hicham Boutaleb Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Sylvia Johnson Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Stephanie Plante Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Kim Leclerc Ward 12 – Rideau-Vanier  
Rawlson King Ward 13 – Rideau-Rockcliffe Yes
Stuart MacKay Ward 14 – Somerset  
Brandon Russell Ward 14 – Somerset  
Ariel Troster Ward 14 – Somerset  
Jeff Leiper Ward 15 – Kitchissippi Yes
Riley Brockington Ward 16 – River Yes
Ethan Sabourin Ward 16 – River  
Rebecca Bromwich Ward 17 – Capital  
Dan Rogers Ward 17 – Capital  
Jessie-Lee Wallace Ward 17 – Capital  
Shawn Menard Ward 17 – Capital Yes
Marty Carr Ward 18 – Alta Vista  
Carolyn Kropp Ward 18 – Alta Vista  
Yvette Ashiri Ward 19 – Orléans South-Navan  
Bina Shah Ward 23 – Kanata South  
Erin Coffin Ward 23 – Kanata South  
Kathleen Caught Ward 24 – Barrhaven-East  
Dominik Janelle Ward 24 – Barrhaven-East  
ATIQ QURESHI Ward 24 – Barrhaven-East  
Richard Garrick Ward 24 – Barrhaven-East  
Kathleen Caught Ward 24 – Barrhaven-East  
Catherine McKenney Mayoral  
Jacob Solomon Mayoral  
Brandon Bay Mayoral  
Steven Warren Zone 4 (Ottawa Catholic School Board)  
Josh Rachlis Zone 9 (Ottawa Carleton District School Board)  
Lyra Evans Zone 6 (Ottawa Carleton District School Board)  
Anthony Hope Zone 6 (Ottawa Carleton District School Board)  
Alysha Aziz Zone 2 (Ottawa Carleton District School Board)  


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Ottawa Transit Challenge 2022 / Le Défi du transport en commun d'Ottawa 2022

It’s BACK … time to take the Ottawa Transit Challenge.

The third Ottawa Transit Challenge is being organized by Ottawa Transit Riders. It is the first challenge since the pandemic started.

Click to sign up if you want: 

Transit Challenge sign up 

From Sunday, September 11th to September 17th, 2022, councillors, candidates, and key OC Transpo officials will be encouraged to use public transit for their transportation needs.

During this week, participants will be encouraged to use public transit for all their travels – taking kids to daycare, conducting their shopping, going to appointments, visiting friends – just like so many Ottawa residents who rely on public transit.

Participants are encouraged to tweet their experience using the hashtag #OttTransitChallenge2022.

Councillors and candidates are also encouraged to consider what good public transit means to constituents and neighbours with disabilities. Whether they are navigating sidewalks and inaccessible bus pads or using ParaTranspo, people with disabilities need good, reliable, accessible transit.

You don’t have to be invited to participate – please feel free to sign up or just tweet out sightings of councillors on transit. 


C'est de retour ... il est temps de relever le Défi du transport en commun d'Ottawa.

Le troisième Défi du transport en commun d'Ottawa est organisé par le groupe des usagers du transport en commun d'Ottawa. C'est le premier défi depuis le début de la pandémie.

Cliquez pour vous inscrire si vous voulez : 

Inscription au Défi transport 

Du dimanche 11 septembre au 17 septembre 2022, les conseillers, les candidats et les principaux responsables d'OC Transpo seront encouragés à utiliser le transport en commun pour leurs besoins en transport.

Au cours de cette semaine, les participants seront encouragés à utiliser le transport en commun pour tous leurs déplacements - emmener les enfants à la garderie, faire leurs courses, se rendre à des rendez-vous, rendre visite à des amis - comme tant de résidents d'Ottawa qui comptent sur le transport en commun.

Les participants sont invités à tweeter leur expérience en utilisant le hashtag #OttDéfiTransport2022.

Les conseillers et les candidats sont également encouragés à tenir compte de ce que signifie un bon transport en commun pour les électeurs et les voisins handicapés. Qu'il s'agisse de se frayer un chemin sur les trottoirs, de se déplacer sur des aires de stationnement inaccessibles ou d'utiliser ParaTranspo, les personnes handicapées ont besoin d'un transport en commun de qualité, fiable et accessible.

Vous n'avez pas besoin d'être invité pour participer - n'hésitez pas à vous inscrire ou simplement à tweeter des apparitions de conseillers dans les transports en commun. 

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Free (or low cost) transit in various cities

Everyone’s talking about free transit these days. We’re in a climate emergency and getting people to use public transit is a good way to reduce our impact on the environment.

During the recent provincial election, all parties made promises about public transit – the PCs said that they would give $75 million to restore the Northlander passenger-rail system in northern Ontario. All the parties promised to invest in transit reliability and integrated transit fares in the GTA.

Here is an article about cities that offer free fare for all or some of their riders. Kirstin Pulles of Free Transit Ottawa is quoted.

No fare is fair: Should Ontario get on board with free transit? 

The mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu has said, “free public transportation is the single biggest step we could take toward economic mobility, racial equity, and climate justice.”

Here is an article where she explains her argument.

During appearance on Freakonomics Radio, Mayor Wu argues for free transit

Here is an article about the movement towards free transit in Ottawa. Laura Shantz, a board member of Ottawa Transit Riders and a candidate for Rideau-Vanier is quoted in this article.

Free Transit Ottawa has proposed making transit free for specific groups of people – they have a petition on their website advocating for free transit for people who receive Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program. Click here to sign the petition

Free transit movement making inroads, advocates say 

The amalgamated transit union (ATU) posted a well considered argument on their website in 2020.

Free Public Transit in Canada? 

Here’s an article about what cities have learned from experimenting with free transit.

The Case for Making Public Transit Free Everywhere 

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Practice "rack n'roll" at Hurdman

Have you ever wanted to take your bike on an OC Transpo bus, but were nervous about loading and unloading it?

OC Transpo has listened to riders and is now offering a “rack n’roll” practice unit at Hurdman station. Come give it a try!

Avez-vous déjà voulu prendre votre vélo dans un autobus d'OC Transpo, mais vous étiez nerveux à l'idée de le charger et de le décharger ?

OC Transpo a écouté les usagers et offre maintenant un moyen de s'exercer à charger son vélo sur le support à la station Hurdman. Venez faire un essai !


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People's Transit Forum - July 9th

Join us for an in-person event about transit

The Ottawa Transit Riders is organizing an in-person event to discuss transit and the upcoming election.

We are looking for volunteers to join an election working group to plan events in different neighbourhoods to bring transit issues to people’s attention. If you cannot attend this event, but are interested in volunteering, please email us at [email protected]

The event is planned for Saturday, July 9th from 1-3 PM at Minto Park on Elgin (across from Jack Purcell CC).

Click here for details: People's Transit Forum in Minto Park 

With a municipal election coming in October, we want to make transit a major topic during the campaign – what do you want media asking candidates? What do you want candidates to promise? What brave, exciting new transit changes do you want to see with a new city council?

We will have speakers talking about free transit, accessible transit, the benefits of transit for young people and old …

Come and talk to current city councillors and candidates.



Le groupe des usagers de transport en commun d'Ottawa organise un événement en personne pour discuter du transport en commun et l’élection qui aura lieu en octobre.

Nous recherchons des bénévoles pour se joindre à un groupe de travail électoral chargé de planifier des événements dans différents quartiers afin d'attirer l'attention des gens sur les problèmes de transport en commun. Si vous ne pouvez pas assister à cet événement, mais que vous êtes intéressé par le bénévolat, veuillez nous envoyer un courriel à [email protected]

L'événement est prévu le samedi 9 juillet de 13h à 15h au parc Minto sur Elgin (en face du Jack Purcell CC).

Cliquez ici pour plus de détails : People's Transit Forum in Minto Park 

À l'approche de l’élection municipale d'octobre, nous voulons faire du transport en commun un sujet majeur de la campagne. Que voulez-vous que les médias demandent aux candidats ? Que voulez-vous que les candidats promettent ? Quels changements courageux et excitants en matière de transport en commun voulez-vous voir avec un nouveau conseil municipal ?

Nous aurons un orateur qui parlera de la gratuité du transport en commun, un autre qui parlera de l'accessibilité du transport en commun, d'autres qui parleront des avantages du transport en commun pour les jeunes et les personnes âgées ...

Venez, rejoignez-nous pour parler aux conseillers municipaux actuels et aux candidats.


Traduit avec (version gratuite)




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Don't forget about ParaTranspo

The LRT inquiry is happening and several members of the Ottawa Transit Riders have made face-to-face delegations or submitted comments in written form.

If you want to know more, click on this link Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission 

For general enquiries or to submit any information relevant to the Commission's mandate, please contact [email protected]

Several of the people testifying about how the LRT fiasco affects public transit in Ottawa mentioned that the focus on the LRT has distracted city officials from dealing with other aspects of transit … especially accessible transit. People who use ParaTranspo have a long list of complaints … long waiting times to book, no same-day bookings, a limit on the number of trips people can take per day, dirty buses, noisy buses, curfews on holidays such as New Year’s, etc.

The problem is the LRT sucks up all the attention and resources! Journalists rush to interview people who miss exams because the train got stuck and councillors demand inquiries into the procurement of substandard trains. What about Para Transpo customers who have lost out on job opportunities or missed important medical appointments they’ve waited months to get? Listen to people who use accessible transit!

There’s never been enough capacity for the number of people who need to use this service and the buses currently in service are nearing the end of life, with no indication of a budget or timeline as to replace them. Listen to ParaTranspo users who want same-day booking and extended hours.

Let’s make the system more efficient so people leaving from the same location can share buses rather than use two parallel buses. Let’s be sensible about schedules and booking – if a hockey game goes into overtime, make sure that Para buses wait for their users rather than forcing people to leave a game early.

Yes, we need accountability for the LRT fiasco and yes, we need to improve service on buses throughout the system, but all too often, users of ParaTranspo are told to wait until other issues are addressed. (We’ll get to you eventually).

Enough is enough!

It’s about respect.

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Green party plans for transit

The Green party exists to protect our environment so they should have the strongest message and policies for mitigating the effects of climate change. Their leader, Mike Schreiner impressed many with his performance in the leader’s debate.

What are they offering for transit? Here are some highlights:

  1. The Green party has specific plans for replacing high polluting gas or diesel powered vehicles with cleaner electric vehicles, including promises to electrify GO Transit and Metrolinx in the Toronto area.
  2. They advocate for tripling public transit trips by 2030, by building dedicated bus lanes, buying electric buses, making off-peak transit cheaper, and integrating transit with on-demand systems.
  3. They promise to restore the 50% provincial cost-share for transit operations


Further details on their election promises for transportation can be found on their website at Travel and Transport 


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Looking at the NDP plans for transit

The Ottawa Transit Riders is a non-partisan group advocating for better public transit. We support measures to reduce fares. We support measures to provide operational funding so that local transit providers can offer good, reliable service.

As Ontario voters consider their options for the provincial election on June 2nd, we have reviewed the platforms of several parties regarding transit.

Politicians love providing capital funding for projects because they can cut ribbons and declare something accomplished, but capital funding is of limited use if cities cannot afford to run their expanding systems.

Likewise, short-term cash infusions are nice, but they don’t allow companies to make long-term plans.

Let’s look at the transit proposals from the NDP.

The NDP platform includes a commitment to restore provincial funding for municipal public transit and paratransit systems to 50% of their net operating costs.

The NDP is promising to eliminate private-public partnerships (P3s).

They are also planning to support several specific inter-city transportation routes – an equity issues, especially in rural Ontario. It is appalling that people who don’t have access to cars have fewer transportation options in 2022 than in previous decades.

Details can be found here on the NDP website: BETTER PUBLIC AND INTERCITY TRANSIT

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Transit Pledge for MPP candidates

The Ottawa Transit Riders is an advocacy group for reliable, affordable, accessible transit. To help voters make decisions about their representatives, we would like Ottawa area candidates to click on the link below to sign a pledge that they will advocate for public transit if they are elected.

Le group des usagers du transport en commun d'Ottawa est un groupe de défense des intérêts d'un transport en commun fiable, abordable et accessible. Pour aider les électeurs à prendre des décisions concernant leurs représentants, nous aimerions que les candidats de la région d'Ottawa cliquent sur le lien ci-dessous pour signer un promesse selon lequel ils défendront le transport en commun s'ils sont élus.


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