Proposed System Plan for

Lofty Taxi in Ottawa and Gatineau

Two major activity centres Île de Hull and Ottawa Centre see a large number of trips from one side of the river to the other limited by bridge capacity. Interprovincial traffic is large and growing, so much so that a controversial extra bridge is being planned.

Connecting the two Major Activity Centres with a system that runs unimpeded and which does not impede existing traffic is proposed.

The system is comprised of 8 near-by off-line stations, 5 km of dual-direction guideway, u-turns at ends, turning circles where needed with roundabouts at intersections.

* The pink discs represent a 300 m radius from station (about 3 1/2 minutes walk). 400 m is a 5 minute walk at a nominal 5 km/h pace. See back pages for details on each station area.

Interactive map of Gatineau and Ottawa core areas connected by a Lofty Taxi system

Future Spur and Extension possibilities

  • An extension to the bus station along Lyon street could be added which would allow intercity travellers direct access to the city core. This opens up cargo possibilities.
  • Extending a bit further to access an East-West higher speed link along the 417. Such a link could connect with Orleans and Kanata
  • Also, continuing even further to the Ottawa International Airport along Bronson and the aviation parkway would allow international travel from the Lofty Taxi system. It would also open up cargo possibilities.
  • An extension to Tunney’s pasture and City Centre would connect these activity centres.
  • An extension to Ottawa’s City Hall, the market area and on to the South and East of the city adds more activity centres and high rise areas.
  • A Gatineau Park Portal and Université du Québec en Outaouais station adds a base of about 5,000 students and would allow, for example, cross-country ski/hiking/snowshoeing/roller blade access from any of the Lofty Taxi stations.

Spur and extension possibilities for the Ottawa-Gatineau system plan

Leaflet | © OpenStreetMap contributors

Ridership, Cost and Revenue Projections

Total system cost with everything included of about $100 to $125 million at $20 to $25 million per km. This system should be revenue generating, sustainable mobility.

Île de Hull sees 7,150 daily trips within its district.

Ottawa Centre sees 27,650 daily trips within its district1.

Both of these areas are served by the proposed system.

24,200 daily trip from the Gatineau side to Ottawa Centre.

18,400 daily trips from the Ottawa side to Île de Hull1.

We can see a scenario where rapid transit delivers patrons on either side and on-demand Lofty Taxi completes the final leg with practically no extra wait.

Total resident trips is 77,4002

At ~ 20% station capacity over 11 hr equivalent is ~ 19,000 daily trips @ $1.50 average per trip which is more than $10 million which covers amortization of the system over 30 years at 5% interest, including O&M, not counting advertising, vending or cargo revenue.

1.2 million visitors per year for the Museum of History3 and about 7-8 million visitors to the National Capital4 every year would use this system. Lofty Taxi would also be a tourist attraction in its own right generating multiple trips per visitor accessing different attractions along the route.

Jonathan Westeinde, a partner of developer Windmill, has expressed interest in Podcars for the Zibi development as reported in The Ottawa Citizen article:

Futuristic pod cars being considered for Domtar site


François Allard – Inventor, B.Sc. (Hons)