OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa's Award-Winning "Project Magenta"
The Confederation Line is the largest infrastructure project in Ottawa’s history, requiring the conversion of approximately nine kilometres of Ottawa’s central Transitway, a bus rapid transit corridor, to light rail transit (LRT). The section of the Transitway being converted to LRT represents the highest ridership sections of the Transitway through the downtown core. Given the importance of the Transitway and Ottawa’s high transit modal share, maintaining high-quality transit service during construction is critical. The closure of the Transitway was successfully completed in 2016.
From the start, the Project Magenta team recognized the importance of internal communication to create organization-wide understanding of the changes. An extensive external communications campaign was used to create awareness of the changes; reach people where it counts; and convey the long-term benefits resulting from the conversion to light rail. The campaigns used a wide variety of communication channels to help reach as many people as possible. The successful Transitway closures have increased project management and project delivery skills of key staff across the organization, and this will be of great value to OC Transpo as the agency prepares for the opening of the Confederation Line in 2018.
The "Magenta" project has increased employees’ and customers’ confidence in OC Transpo in advance of the transition to the Confederation Line. The tools used by OC Transpo will continue to help ensure that staff and customers are prepared, and that changes are implemented as seamlessly as possible. Effective implementation of major changes can build customer and public trust in transit systems, supporting the achievement of their long-term goals.
For this project, the City of Ottawa and OC Transpo won a CUTA Corporate Leadership Award in Innovation, congratulations!