Announcing Capital Region Rail

See my plan on affordable transit here.

Many growing cities approaching 1.5 million people introduce a regional rail service. Toronto introduced regional rail in 1967, with the Go Train system. The Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area has surpassed the 1.3 million mark, and it's time to get the city moving.

We will introduce regional rail, alongside Phase 2 of the light rail system, that connects Kanata, Barrhaven, Kanata North, Stittsville, Bells Corners, Richmond, Navan, Vars, Merivale, Kinburn, Fitzroy, Limoges, Smiths Falls and Gatineau.


We will run trains on rail lines that already exist in the National Capital Region, making this a cost-effective solution to get 20,000 cars off the 417, reduce our carbon footprint, open our city for business, and connect the four corners of the National Capital Region. This plan will integrate itself with our present OC Transpo system.

The key to delivering a new regional  rail service is fixing the rail line near Bayview Station and reopening the Prince of Wales bridge.

These are keystone connections which must be repaired so that full service trains can travel between Ottawa and Gatineau.

Our Capital Region Rail system will be implemented in three phases over four years.

Phase 1: Restoring the Prince of Wales Bridge and Related Infrastructure

Renovating the Prince of Wales bridge and adding dedicated pedestrian and cyclist pathways. This phase will be completed in thirteen months: one month for the Request for Proposal Process (RFP), twelve months for the renovation and required construction to add a pedestrian and cyclist pathways.

Phase 2: Restoring Train Service to the Prince of Wales Bridge

Launch a three-month RFP process for the work required to revitalize the rail system in the region, and dedicate eighteen months for the necessary construction to restore train service on the Prince of Wales Bridge.

Phase 3: Getting Ottawa Moving

Getting the Capital Region Rail Service running from Kanata North, Bells Corners and Stittsville in the west, Barrhaven, Richmond and Smiths Falls in the South, Vars, Navan, and Limoges in the East, and Gatineau in the North. We expect the Capital Regional Rail to be fully operational by 2022.

Key Costs

40-50 million to repair the Prince of Wales bridge.

25 million to fix the rail line near Bayview station so that regional rail can go forwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will we pay for Capital Region Rail?

The full cost of the Capital Region Rail, and its business plan can only be determined following a Request for Proposal process (RFP). This will provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders to shape the project, and identify how much they are willing to invest in the Capital Region Rail. The final total cost can only be determined following this process. The cost to repair the Prince of Wales bridge is estimated at $ 40-50 million. We are also estimating the cost to fix the rail line near the Bayview station so that our Capital Region Rail plan can move forward at around $25 million.

What happens to the LRT?

Phase One of the LRT makes no sense without a Phase Two. It’s simply too short. I am committed to moving forward quickly with Phase Two. I am not proposing changes to the existing LRT; but there has been a great deal of secrecy around it. A new Mayor and Council will need to evaluate the success and shortcomings of the Phase 1 of the LRT project and adjusting phase 2 of the LRT, if necessary.

What stops are going to be included in the Capital Region Rail?

A final draft of the map will be developed through the RFP process with implicated parties. The map included in the above section is intended to provide a general idea of areas in the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area that will be served by Capital Region Rail.

Doesn’t VIA rail (and other private companies) currently manage the rail infrastructure?

Yes, however, as per federal law, the rail infrastructure is to be shared, and the City of Ottawa, as well as other affected municipalities, have the right to demand access to the rail infrastructure to deliver a Capital Region Rail service.

Does this plan fit with existing transit infrastructure in the city?

Yes, it does. In fact, our plan will enhance existing transit infrastructure, unlike the current Mayor’s plan to fire sale 178 hybrid buses and reduce community service.  Our plan also includes the introduction of a pilot project that would launch 12-seater vans getting people in suburban neighborhoods to Capital Region Rail.

How does your Transit plan affect service delivery in Ottawa’s urban center?

Our plan is to maintain transit service in our urban core. Unlike the current Mayor’s plan to fire sale 178 hybrid buses, we will keep the buses, and maintain existing urban service with these buses.

You plan includes the reduction of transit fares, how will this ensure we can pay for your plan, and existing commitments like the second stage of the LRT?

You can’t grow a transit service by always increasing fares and making it out of reach for those who live in poverty, for students and for seniors. Once in office, I will look at our current budget and reallocate monies dedicated to asphalt and road expansions to our transit plan. The Baseline Busway, for example, will not go ahead but there will be more buses on Baseline. Students at Algonquin need more buses and more frequent service, not more asphalt.

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Showing 8 reactions

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  • Bob Donnelly
    followed this page 2018-10-10 11:57:07 -0400
  • Ute Thomas
    followed this page 2018-09-14 14:37:07 -0400
  • Carl Stieren
    commented 2018-09-13 09:19:00 -0400
    Clive Doucet was the city council member who gave us the O-Train. Without his clear vision, we would not be about to compete the second line of the O-Train … the one that will give us the backbone of a true Light Rail System. Now he has the vision to create a Capital Region Rail. All I can say is, “Bravo! And it’s about time.” This will serve Ottawa residents first with the initial lines, and also benefit Ottawans by reducing traffic on the 417 and other main roads. When I was an undergraduate, I lived with my parents in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. There, EVERYONE in this little town who worked in the City of Chicago had a monthly pass on the Burlington Northern line to go into Chicago for work or to see a play or the Chicago Sympophony. In 1974, this and other lines were made into the METRA system in Chicago. Now it has 11 lines, 241 stops and serves six counties of Northeastern Illinois.
  • Carl Stieren
    commented 2018-09-13 08:21:16 -0400
    Clive Doucet, you have the best website of any contender running for mayor. Your ideas and your platform are superb for Ottawa and easy to find, your capsule biography gives a true picture of you and last but not least, your campaign is well organized and responsive. For example: I gave the outreach staffer in your office the news that one word was misspelled on a map. Guess what? Shortly thereafter, it was corrected on your website.
  • James Brunet
    commented 2018-09-09 15:20:18 -0400
    Sabrina, the rail line to Smith Falls already is built so there’s no need to delay using it! Of course, there will have to be some level of partnership with those communities and the taxpayers who live there—but remember, a lot of folks from these outer communities (especially Gatineau) commute to Ottawa and vice versa, so it is important that transit plans take the whole region into account.

    With this plan (completed by 2022) combined with phase 2 LRT (completed by 2023), we’ll be able to serve almost every community in Ottawa, including Barrhaven, Kanata, Stittsville, Orleans, and Bells Corners.
  • Sabrina McDonald
    commented 2018-09-07 21:54:34 -0400
    Perhaps you should start in the city (where taxpayers are), and make the outer areas the 2nd phase. I feel that you need to focus on those taxpayers you represent. We need realistic transit solutions now and not in 10 years.
  • James Brunet
    commented 2018-09-07 14:02:04 -0400
    Phase 2 LRT is still going to happen. As for cost — The biggest cost in building commuter rail is paying people for the right to run rail through their backyard. Because this plan uses existing rail, it’ll be much cheaper.
  • Thomas
    commented 2018-09-06 13:33:04 -0400
    And how will this affect stage 2 of the LRT? Where does the funding come from?

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