Friends of the O-Train

Friends of the O-Train is transit group composed of a number of community leaders, rail and transit experts, and concerned taxpayers. Our goal has been to present practical rapid transit options for the National Capital Region, for open discussion with anyone.
Email: friendsoftheotrain (at)

Letter of Support

Dear Mr. Gladstone,

It was with pleasure and excitement that I heard about the "Friends of
the O-Train" proposal. This matched the ideal scenario I've discussed
with many friends in the past here in Ottawa.

In order to grow as a city there needs to be decent transit for people
living in the city, going across the city as well as those coming in
from the suburbs. The City of Ottawa only seems to be focused on
creating in/out commuter solutions.

The waste of bus inventory that sits on our downtown streets spewing
exhaust while stuck in a traffic jam of its own creation is deplorable
and an eyesore.

As you point out - this bus inventory would be far better used elsewhere
and also provide us with faster cross city transit times and create
effective use of transfer points with ample space/land at Hurdman and

To me there is no other plausible first step for introducing light rail
to Ottawa other than the plan proposed on this website. The plan
maximizes use of existing bus inventory, fixes a downtown congestion
problem, creates a stronger city community and still provides major
increases in efficiency for suburban commuter flow. This is also a
first step in cleaning up the "bus depot" effect on Rideau Street that
has concerned City Counsel. We have created bus terminals on city
streets and the current O-Train proposal will only serve to exacerbate
the problem.

This will also boost ridership on the currently under-utilized existing
O-Train line - especially if the link to Gatineau is completed.
Tearing up and replacing this existing O-Train track is a premature
expense and likely to be fraught with cost overruns due to
environmental issues.

Please let me know if there is any way I can lend some of my time to
supporting this valuable proposal.

Best Regards,

Davis Jermacans
City of Ottawa resident
8 Nov 2006


At 10:47 PM, Blogger Phred said...

Has anyone ever considered building an elevated track system through the downtown core? So while the normal traffic moved below, the train could move right through the inner-city core without needing to stop at lights or congestion traffic.

It would certainly be alot cheaper than building infrastructure underground would it not?

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Friends of the O-Train said...


We have a source who tells us elevated structures are 6 (six) times as expensive, per km., as surface running.

Tunnels are 10 to 12 times as expensive as surface, per km.

Elevated trains are noisier than surface, even with welded rail on a ballasted deck structure.

The noise propagates farther into the surrounding area.

Elevated requires stairs, elevators, and escalators. These require space on the sidewalk below, where they come down to ground level.

Passengers require extra time to get to & from the trains, compared to just walking to them on the sidewalk.

Elevated requires space on the street and/or sidewalk below, for the pillars that hold it up.

It requires more lighting than surface running. (lights for the stations above, and more lighting for the streets & sidewalks below.)


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