Getting Around Ottawa

Ottawa's OC Transpo offers a high frequency inter-city bus system. This system can truly be called rapid transit since it includes dedicated bus lanes, transitways and priority traffic signals. Transitways are grade-separated from the regular roads and connect with park-and-ride lots. In addition, OC Transpo offers the O-train, which serves the downtown and eastern suburbs. This light rail transit system travels a north-south route.

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is part of the Eastern Triangle. This means that it is easy to catch flights between Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. For these and other Canadian destinations, carriers include Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Rapidair, West Jet, BearSkins Airlines, Porter Airlines, and Canadian North. Flights between the US and Ottawa generally originate in New York, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Charlotte, or Detroit. General aviation flights tend to use Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport or Ottaway/Carp Airport. As the sixth busiest Canadian airport, Ottawa International serves about 4.5 million passengers every year. To reach the city from the airport by public transit, take the Route 97 bus. It travels a dedicated transitway to other bus stations and the O-train. Limos, several car rental companies and taxis also serve Ottawa International.

The Ottawa Central Station is served by Greyhound Canada. Travellers can reach Ottawa via these Greyhound hubs: Toronto, Montreal, Syracuse (NY), and Sudbury. The Ottawa Train Station is served by Via Rail, which is a convenient way to reach Ottawa from Montreal or Toronto. Both stations are served by OS Transpo buses. The light rail doesn't stop at either station.

To reach Ottawa, travels can take the Trans-Canada highway, which is also called the Queensway or Highway 417 in the Ottawa area. Highway 416 and Regional 174 are also frequent routes. Once in the area, favorite scenic parkways include Queen Elixabeth Driveway, Ottawa River Parkway, Aviation Parkway, Rockcliffe Parkway and Colonel By Drive.

Ottawa has established more than 220 kilometers of bike paths. In some areas, the dedicate lanes are separated from car traffic by a low concrete barrier. A bike rental program is available in several prominently travelled tourism areas. Sparks Street is a downtown area that is strictly for pedestrians. During the winter, the Rideau Canal is frequently used as a favorite ice skating path that connects points between Carleton University and the National Arts Center.