Getting around Ottawa
OC Transpo (tel: +1 613 741 4390; www.octranspo.com) provides public transport in Ottawa in modern single and articulated buses, including a rapid transit system that uses Transitway dedicated bus lanes and roadways for fast service around town. You can use transfer tickets to travel on both the light rail O-Train (operated by OC Transpo) and buses. Day passes and books of discounted tickets are available. You can also use a reloadable PRESTO smartcard.
OC Transpo is integrated with Gatineau's public transit system across the river in Québec, allowing for efficient transportation in the whole Ottawa-Gatineau region. The intercity bus service offers hourly departures to Montreal, and several daily commutes to Toronto.
Numerous taxi companies serve the Ottawa area, including BlueLine Taxi (tel: +1 613 238 1111) and Capital Taxi (tel: +1 613 744 3333). They are easy to hail downtown.
It's easy to get around by public transport. If you are driving however, on-street metered parking and city-run car parks are free at weekends. Otherwise, pay-and-display machines accept coins and credit cards.
The main car hire companies include Avis (tel: +1 613 238 3421; www.avis.ca), Budget (tel: +1 613 232 1527; www.budget.ca) and Thrifty (tel: +1 613 238 8000; www.thrifty.com). Drivers must be over 21 years of age and carry a valid driver's licence from any country.
Ottawa is a cyclist's dream city, with several hundred kilometres of cycle paths up and down challenging hills and past scenic bluffs, river views and gardens. Pick up a map of bike paths at any of the numerous shops hiring or selling bicycles. Many OC Transpo buses have bicycle racks on the front and only charge a cyclist the regular passenger fare.
RentABike, Plaza Bridge, East Arch, 2 Rideau Street (tel: +1 613 241 4140; www.rentabike.ca) hires out a variety of bikes including tandems and trail-a-bikes.