Coming up in 2020:

Covid and the public sector: Online rally/press conference 

Date: Thursday, May 7th 
6:00 to 7:00 pm
RSVP on our Facebook page 

To voice the concerns of front line workers providing key public services as well as those using the service, representatives from the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, Child Care Now and Free Transit Ottawa will speak at an online press conference. They will be making statements on the conditions of front line workers in the public sector in healthcare, public transit and childcare, and making demands for immediate improvements as well as in the post-covid period. Speakers include Michael Hurley (Ontario Council of Hospital Unions), Ayesha Basit (Child Care Now, Ottawa), Chelsea Flook (Free Transit Ottawa),and Clint Crabtree (President and Business Agent, ATU Local 279). 

Three groups fighting for improved public services and the rights of the workers in those sectors have come together to demand that the city of Ottawa recognize the importance of public services during the pandemic and take additional steps to protect workers and citizens. Free Transit Ottawa’s original statement demands the suspension of fare collection, higher service levels to allow for physical distancing, masks and hand sanitizer on all buses, access to testing and paid sick leave for drivers, and proper access to bathrooms and breaks for handwashing. Child Care Now’s petition demands a coordinated political response to ensure funding for licensed child care facilities to remain operational, expansion of eligibility for free child care, and improved safety measures for families and workers. The press conference will address these statements, the condition of workers of service users, and the path forward from COVID-19 for public services.

Campaign Launch Variety Show

Date: Wednesday, January 22nd
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Avant Garde Bar – 135 1/2 Besserer St.

Join us for an evening of poetry, music, and conversation as we celebrate the launch of our new campaign for fare-free transit in off-peak hours, new and improved transit services across the city, and democratic transit decision making. We will provide more information about these demands, as well as how you can get involved in our struggle to win them, at this event!

The event will feature poetry by Just Jamaal and music by Lil’ Claire, Nick Bury, Roby Ryan & Friends, and Himig Masa. We will also hear from speakers on the front lines of the movement for improved transit in Ottawa including, Shawn Menard (City Councillor for Capital Ward), Stuart MacKay (Board Member of the Ottawa Transit Riders), Clint Crabtree (President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279), and Kayla Charette (Co-Chair of Free Transit Ottawa).

This event is free, but we ask you to please RSVP here. Updates about the event can be found on our Facebook event page.

Transit Week Challenge 2020

Date: February 17th – February 23rd

Last February we organized the Transit Week Challenge, through which we pressured our local city councillors to take transit exclusively for a week. The Challenge was hugely successful: Most of the city’s councillors accepted the Challenge and reported honestly about the state of the transit system in Ottawa. Unsurprisingly, they were disappointed with the service. The Challenge also helped to create a city-wide conversation about the state of transit in Ottawa. We used this opportunity to point out the deficiencies in the system, all the while building awareness for our campaign for free and accessible transit. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage that the Challenge received in the media. We’re planning to organize another Transit Week Challenge in 2020 because the fight isn’t over!

This year we’re upping the ante and coordinating a Canada-wide Transit Week Challenge. While struggles for better transit are waged at the city-level, we believe that there are systemic issues in Canada that have led to underfunded, underutilized, and unjust public transit. The right to better transit connects with broader struggles at the national level, like climate change, inequality, and discrimination. 

Join the fight and bring the Transit Week Challenge to your local decision makers. If you’re interested in getting involved, email us at Download the Transit Week Challenge toolkit here to aid your group in designing the Challenge, contacting councillors, keeping the pressure on them, and creating a media strategy.

Past Events:

Climate Strike

Date: Friday, September 27th
11:30 am
Confederation Park

We will be marching in solidarity with Carleton Climate Commons, Ecology Ottawa, and many other groups, to support the Ottawa Climate Strike.

Confronting Climate Change : Ottawa and Beyond

Date: Friday, May 31st
7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Sandy Hill Community Centre

Join us May 31st for a panel and discussion on how we can confront climate emergency in our city, looking for solutions for the urban environments.

The City of Ottawa, following many cities around the world, has recently declared a climate emergency The federal environment Minister is now asking Parliament to declare a climate emergency. But the big question remains: what can and has to be done to confront it? This panel will address this question from both a national and local level.

Lee Hunter (Extinction Rebellion)
Lauren Latour (Ecology Ottawa)
Richard Fidler (Solidarity Ottawa)
Kirstin Pulles (Free Transit Ottawa)

The event is free. Bring questions for an extensive discussion period after speakers. Wheelchair accessible building near uOttawa.

The Ottawa Transit Riders Founding Meeting

Date: Saturday, April 27th
Time: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Where: Ottawa City Hall, Jean Pigott Place, 110 Laurier Ave West

Fellow transit advocates, The Ottawa Transit Riders will vote on mandate, structure and elect their first Board of Directors. More details in the poster below.

The event is free but please RSVP here.

The Spring Panel on Free Transit!

Date: Wednesday March 13, 2019
Time: 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Where: Carleton University Library Multimedia Lab Room 482

The panel will discuss the social, environmental, and economic benefits of free transit. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a discussion about the importance of transit and how we can organize to improve the system for everyone.

Jason Prince (Editor of Free Public Transit And Why We Don’t Pay to Ride Elevators)
Lorena Zàrate (Free Transit and the Right to the City)
Shawn Menard (City Councillor – Capital Ward)
Dr. Fiona Jeffries (Carleton University)
Julia Szwarc (Free Transit Ottawa)

Workshop: Help Build the Ottawa Transit Riders, a City-Wide Transit Group

Free transit Ottawa along with the Healthy Transportation Coalition and OPIRG-GRIPO are hosting a workshop with the goal of creating a city-wide transit riders group, the details are in the poster below:

RSVP Iciov