They City of Ottawa is in the process of converting their existing BRT system to an LRT. Some have tried to link Ottawa’s decision to convert a BRT system into an LRT as proof of an LRT’s superiority vs a BRT system. Ottawa made the decision to grow their ridership first before investing in LRT and opted for a BRT system first. The decision helped Ottawa grow its transit ridership and deferred the capital expense of construction until the system had reached a point of needing additional capacity.
A closer look at the conditions on the ground in Ottawa show many of the conditions that the McMaster Institute of Transportation & Logistics points to as contributing to a successful LRT system including: a high rate of congestion, substantial ridership, and limited parking along the route. It also connects many key destinations including: Parliament, The University of Ottawa, and makes significant connections to the suburbs.