McKenney Announces Plan to Deliver Reliable and Affordable Transit for Ottawa

LRT westbound at Pimisi Station A long-time advocate for public transit, McKenney unveils plan to fix Ottawa’s transit system – without increasing fares or changing the 3% approach to property taxes.


OTTAWA, September 6th, 2022 – Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney announced today that as Mayor, they will make immediate, substantial, and targeted reforms to improve OC Transpo. McKenney’s plan will ensure that transit in Ottawa is reliable and affordable, making it easier for residents to take public transit.

“Our transit system could be so much better. With the right leadership, it can be reliable and affordable,” said McKenney. “That’s better for our environment, for our neighbourhoods, and for our city. When everyone can get around more easily, they’ll be able to access the services they need, take advantage of our public spaces, and visit their favourite local shops and restaurants. It will be a major upgrade to the quality of life in our city.”

As part of their plan to make transit more reliable, McKenney will:

  • Make transit more convenient by increasing transit operations by 20% over the next four years, to help you get across the city and around your own community.
  • Make the LRT more reliable. If RTG/RTM is found in default of their contract, we will take advantage of the option to bring the maintenance contract into the City where we will hire the expertise to fix the system.
  • Make transit more reliable and efficient by initiating a top to bottom review of OC Transpo in the first 100 days as Mayor.

As part of their plan to make transit more affordable, McKenney will:

  • Freeze transit fares.
  • Expand free transit to all children and youth ages 17 and under.
  • Make transit more accessible to low income residents by making the Equipass more affordable.

 “My plan will make transit reliable and affordable, and will deliver fare-free transit to youth 17 and under — so your kids can get to their part-time jobs and their local library or recreation centre for free,” added McKenney. “I am committed to making life more affordable for everyone. Making transit free for your kids means that you have more money to spend on other priorities.” 

McKenney’s plan will be paid for by reprioritizing existing City spending. This reprioritization will allow improvements with no increase to transit fares, and no change to the current 3% property tax approach.

“We need to fix the entire system and get more people back to using transit as their preferred way to travel. We need to make big changes, and we can do that with existing resources in the City’s budget.” McKenney added. “City Hall must end its wasteful approach to spending, like approving subsidies for Porsche dealerships and the failed P3 deals that delivered our flawed LRT system. I will lead a Council that prioritizes people over big corporate interests. That is how we’re going to deliver the transit system that Ottawa deserves.” 

Read McKenney’s complete plan to fix Ottawa’s transit here.

This announcement is the first of two announcements that McKenney will make this week. Over the next few days, they will share their detailed plan to make Ottawa’s transportation networks more reliable, more affordable, and safer for all of us. 




  • McKenney’s plan will allow improvements with no increase to transit fare, and no change to the current 3% property tax approach.
  • Ottawa has among the highest transit fees in Canada, ranking fourth highest in the country.
  • According to a survey by the Ottawa Transit Riders, the City of Ottawa offered free transit in December 2021, 43% of people said they used it more than usual. 93% of people said it changed how they used public transit, often choosing it over driving or taxi-ing, and/or choosing to travel with children more. 


About Catherine:

Catherine McKenney is a two-term Councillor, now running to be the next Mayor of Ottawa. Their proven leadership includes standing up to the convoy occupiers on behalf of city residents, pushing for greater transparency and accountability at City Hall by championing a public inquiry into Stage One of Ottawa’s light rail transit project, as well as strong advocacy to build new affordable housing and end homelessness. They are running for Mayor to make Ottawa the greenest, healthiest, and best connected city in Canada. 

For media inquiries please contact:
Heather Badenoch, [email protected]


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