Let's be real: Ottawa's pretty late to the rapid transit game. You would think that the capital of Canada would have already had an underground by now. Who are we kidding; it's no surprise that Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are the only cities with rapid transit. Stop ignoring us, Canada, yes please.
But how far behind are we? What does the rapid transit system look like in other cities around the world that have had them for, let's say, over 100 years? I'll be honest: it's kinda jaw-dropping. Some cities have had a subway system longer than Canada has been a country. Meanwhile we're just testing our underground tracks next month.
Here's what Ottawa's LRT will look like compared with some of the world's oldest rapid transit systems. Let's start with what Ottawa's LRT is planning to look like in 2018:
Ottawa, Canada (2018)
17 stations. Five at the moment.
Photo cred: TransitOttawa
The beer capital of the world has a metro that's been operating since 1971, right before the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. 100 stations.
Photo cred: MapaMetro
Let's get a little bit bigger. The Moscow Metro began operations in 1935. 203 stations. 44 of those stations are cultural heritage sites. Trains come every 90 seconds and the metro subway cars all have free wifi (just leaving this here in case Ottawa needs ideas).
Photo cred: Russian Metro
Began operations in 1863. Canada wasn't even a country then. 270 stations.
Photo cred: VisitLondon
Began operations in 1900. The word "Metro" actually came from an abbreviated version of Paris' own "Chemin de Fer Métropolitan" (Metropolitan Railway). 303 stations.
Photo cred: AParisGuide
Dizzy yet? Began operations in 1941. 179 stations.
Photo cred: DeepJapan
Began operations in 1993. 364 stations. Oh, and fun fact: their average daily ridership in 2015 was 8.41 million people. Imagine if every single person in Ottawa rode the Shanghai Metro 8 times in one day. And to think you thought Toronto was busy.
Photo cred: Mapa Metro
New York, U.S.A
Didn't think we'd forget the Big Apple, did you? Began operations in 1904. Today it has a whopping 469 stations. Don't worry, Ottawa. You'll get there.
Photo cred: NYC Subway
São Paulo, Brazil
Began operations in 1974. 65 stations. Doesn't seem too big compared to Shanghai or London, but the daily ridership here is 4.6 million (895 million annually in 2014). And, there's just 65 stations. Google some photos of what this place looks like on a crowded day. You will love the OC Transpo.
Photo cred: ICTP
Seoul, South Korea
Began operations in 1974. 117 stations. The subway system is 331.5km long. You can get to Oshawa, in the GTA, for the same distance by car.
Photo cred: Mappery