The Council on Aging of Ottawa | (613) 789-3577 | (613) 789-3577
A group of older adults attending listening to talks in a seminar
An older adult helping another older adult in a wheel chair up the ramp of a public bus.

Workshop 5 – Getting Where You Need to Go

Participants will learn effective strategies to continue getting around as safely as possible for as long as possible and be informed on the various transportation options available.


The loss of ones Driver’s License can be one of the most difficult transitions for many seniors to face.  Being able to maintain one’s license for as long as possible and being prepared for this significant change before it happens can make things much easier on everyone involved.  During this session, you will have the opportunity to:

  • recognize your transportation patterns
  • learn ways in which you can continue driving safely for as long as possible
  • consider alternative modes of transportation
  • commit to taking action in some way before our next session


Walking Resources

Walkability Score
If you are considering a move, consider moving closer to amenities, family and friends. Check out the walking score of your current home or any new neighborhood you consider at

Ottawa Public Health Walking Information

Winter Walking Tips
Icy surfaces and snow can pose a hazard for pedestrians, especially for seniors and people using a mobility device. Check out these Winter Walking Tips at

Become a Snow Mole!
Snow Moles are volunteers who report on what it’s like to walk outside on a winter day in Ottawa. The information they gather will be used by the Council on Aging of Ottawa (COA) to inform the City and others of ways that winter walkability can and should be improved. Anyone can be a snow mole, but we are particularly looking for seniors and children to participate, as well as people who use mobility devices (e.g. canes, walkers and wheelchairs). Find out more at

Public Transport Resources

OC Transpo

  • OC Transpo buses can be lowered to be closer to the curb and have ramps to allow easy access for customers using wheelchairs and walkers.
  • All stops are announced automatically.
  • There is free passage for attendants authorized by health care professionals.
  • Fares are lower for people over 65
  • Seniors Ride Free on Wednesdays and Sundays.

OC Transpo Travel Training
Nervous? You can get free “travel training”. Travel training teaches people with disabilities, seniors and new Canadians to use transit safely and independently. For information about travel training call the Accessibility Specialist at 613-842-3636 x 2873

Weekly Shopper Routes
Shopper Routes (301-305) provide rural residents a free and convenient way to get into town. These routes offer once-a-week service from rural communities to urban shopping destinations.

Para Transpo
Para Transpo is a shared-ride, book-in-advance, public transit service. The service is open to eligible customers who are unable to take conventional transit (buses and O-Train) some or all of the time due to a disability. It is funded by the City of Ottawa and administered by OC Transpo.

  • In urban areas, the service charges are no more than OC Transpo.

Para Transpo Taxi Coupon Program
The Taxi Coupon Program allows Para Transpo customers to take discounted taxi service as an alternative to Para Transpo. You can book your trip – at your convenience, with participating Ottawa taxi companies and save 55% off the regular taxi fare.

  • The cost is $18 for a coupon book worth $40 in taxi fares.
  • Each book has a selection of $1, $2, and $5 coupons.
  • An eligible customer can buy up to 8 coupon books each month.

Vehicles for Hire

Taking taxis can actually be cheaper and less hassle than owning, driving and parking a personal car.

Uber / Lyft
Passengers use an app to order a ride and are quoted the fare. The pricing varies according to supply and demand for rides at the time that the ride is requested. Payment is automatically charged to your credit card. Prices are usually ~30% less than taxis.

Ride Share
Ridesharing can provide options for daily commutes, regular errands, long distance drives and more.

Private Services

Community Support Services

Subsidized and personalized ride services provided for a fee by Community Support Services (CSS).
Priority is often given to requests for transportation for medical appointments.
Call 2-1-1

Ottawa West Community Support

Eastern Ottawa Community Support Services

The Good Companions
613-236-0428, extension 2235

Western Ottawa Community Support


Rural Ottawa South Support Services

Olde Forge Community Resource Centre
613-829-9777 extension 231

Métis Nation of Ontario Healing & Wellness
613-748 1880 ext 303 and services/healing wellness/

Driving Resources

55 Alive Driver Refresher Course
For seniors, to sharpen your road skills and improve your confidence on the road.
Search online for “55 Alive Ottawa” or contact the Council on Aging of Ottawa.

The CarFit program suggests tips to improve the fit between you and your car. Your car has a number of features that need to be adjusted properly to serve their intended purpose: comfort and safety.
To find a CarFit Clinic:
Contact: The Council on Aging of Ottawa
Call: 613-523-2268

Driver Training
Book a session with a Ministry Approved driving instructor.

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Seniors Driving
The CAA has used decades of experience in road safety, along with expert assistance from the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists to design a toolkit for seniors and their loved ones. Find the toolkit at:

Functional Driving Assessment

New Car Recommendations for Older Adults
If you are thinking of buying a new car, find the vehicle with the right features for you. Check:

Develop a Network
Think about accepting rides from your family, friends, and neighbours. Some of the discomfort of doing so can be alleviated by finding people who are going the same way anyway, only taking a ride one way, or offering some form of payment or reciprocity.

Seniors Driver’s License Renewal
Once drivers reach 80 years of age, every two years they must:

  • Take a vision test
  • Undergo a driver record review
  • Participate in a 45-minute Group Education Session (GES)
  • During the GES, complete two, brief, non-computerized in-class screening assignments
  • If, necessary, take a road test


Preparation for the Driver’s Test at 80

Pages 2-8 of this document outline all the details you need to know regarding the renewing of your license at age 80.