OC Transpo offering ‘no-charge’ service on New Year’s Eve during COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA — OC Transpo is offering free rides on New Year’s Eve again this year, even through Ottawa Public Health is recommending people only celebrate the holidays with members of their household only.

The transit service announced Wednesday that OC Transpo and Para Transpo will be “no-charge” after 8 p.m. on Dec. 31. The free service is in partnership with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Ottawa and the Safer Roads Ottawa Program.

OC Transpo offers “no-charge” service on New Year’s Eve every year.

In a media release, the city said, “Remember to celebrate with members of your household, to wear a mask when using transit and follow Ottawa Public Health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season.”

On Tuesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches reiterated that Ottawa Public Health recommends holiday celebrations “happen only with the people you already live with, virtually or physically distanced from anyone else.”

Ottawa is currently in the “orange-protect” zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions. Last call at bars and restaurants is at 9 p.m., and establishments must close at 10 p.m. 

CTV News Ottawa reached out to OC Transpo to ask why the service is continuing to offer “no-charge” transit service while public health recommends residents celebrate with members of their household only.

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