To Mayor Jim Watson and Members of the Ottawa City Council,

In April 2019, Ottawa’s City Council passed a motion acknowledging that we face a ‘Climate Emergency’ stating that there is “a need for massive reduction in carbon emissions in the next 11 years.” The City has also set a target to reduce per capita Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions below 2012 levels by 20% by 2024 and 80% by 2050*.

Rethinking Transportation

The transportation sector in Ottawa accounts for approximately 40%** of the city’s GHG emissions. By adopting measures to encourage people to use public transit instead of private vehicles the City of Ottawa could cut GHG emissions up to 2/3*** per trip.
The benefits of an improved and expanded public transit system reach far beyond reducing GHG emission. By committing to public transit, we commit to the wellbeing of the people of Ottawa, allowing everyone to engage in all of the cultural, political, and community life.
We call upon our elected officials to adopt Free Transit Ottawa’s New Vision for Public Transit in Ottawa to show their commitment to the Climate Emergency and the people of Ottawa.

Affordable Transit

  • Eliminate transit fares during off-peak hours (i.e. fare-free between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am, and on weekends).

Better Transit

  • Add 50 buses to the weekend service.
  • Create neighbourhood bus routes to link residents to local health and social services, community centers, shopping, and entertainment. Priority areas include Vanier, Bay Ward, West Ottawa and Barrhaven.
  • Add 40 vehicles to the Para Transpo fleet (a 20% increase).
  • Create bus-only lanes during rush hour on the routes with the most habitually late buses (i.e 6, 7, 15 (new #12), 21, 39, 55 (new #103) 75 (new #94), 80, 85 and 87).

Democratic Transit

  • Ensure citizen representation on the Transit Commission (i.e. directly elect 4 Citizen Representatives).
  • Replace 2 of the 8 Councilors on the Transit Commission with 2 representatives from the transit workers union, ATU Local 279.

Add your full name, address, and email address below.


166 signatures

**your signature**

Check the get involved box if you want to do more and join the campaign! We will reach out to you to let you know what you can do to help achieve a new vision for public transit in Ottawa. By signing this petition, I hereby acknowledge that this petition will become a public document at the City of Ottawa and that all information contained in it will be subject to the scrutiny of the City, and will be publicly available. Questions about the collection and disclosure of personal information contained in this petition should be directed to the City Clerk, 110 Laurier Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1.

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* – Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan,

** – Ottawa Insights,

*** – City of Ottawa. Air Quality & Climate Change Management Plan for the City of Ottawa 2014,