OC Transpo will be poviding unlimited free service during the month of December as a way to entice riders back to the service after the O-Train was shutdown for nearly two months following a derailment on Sept. 19.
The offer is not just for O-Train users, but for riders of both the train and busses. Starting on Dec. 1, fare gates at all O-Train stations will be opened and fare boxes and smartcard readers on all OC Transpo buses will be covered. December passes will not be sold and Presto customers with auto-renew subscriptions will see a one-cent charge, which will be credited back to their account. January monthly passes will go on sale in mid-December. All Para-Transpo trips during the month of December will also be free.
The iniative is the brainchild of Mayor Jim Watson, who proposed it shortly after the O-Train was shutdown. It was approved by council last month.
"This is to thank our residents for their patience and loyalty. A regular monthly fare holder will save over $122 while helping our small businesses rebound from the pandemic during the holiday season," Watson exlained on Twitter.
LRT service finally resumed last Friday with seven trains running. OC Transpo has committed to increasing the number of trains available for service, with full service expected to be in place by the end of November.
According to OC Translo, the free transit initiative is expected to cost the city about $7.2 million which will be covered by funds from the project agreement with Rideau Transit Group.