The first step of the fare system restructuring, coming in October 2016 as per Council’s decision June 22nd, is the conversion of all student monthly passes to Presto smartcards.
It is expected that the conversion to Presto will be a smooth transition for the student population considering that there are currently approximately 500 student paper passes sold monthly and that most students either use Presto on their own or receive a Presto card from one of the School Board transportation authorities.
For the passes that are sold at OC Transpo locations, we have the opportunity to directly interact with these student customers and remind them in person that they will need to change to a Presto option in October.
The majority of student paper passes are sold by fare vendors or distributed by community partners to students with financial restrictions. We will be working with these vendors and community partners to assist them with their conversion to Presto.
Students who use paper passes were required to purchase a new photo ID each year. Existing student photo IDs for the 2015-2016 school year will have their expiry extended to September 30, 2016.
Students who show their 2015-2016 student photo ID at an OC Transpo Customer Service Centre will be provided with a complimentary Presto card if they are purchasing a September student monthly pass. This incentive will only be available for students purchasing September passes. Students who wait to convert in October will be required to purchase their Presto card at a cost of $6.00.
OC Transpo’s communication plan on this conversion includes:
- A sticker on the back of the September student paper pass reminding them that this is the last month for paper passes;
- Home page information on octranspo.com;
- Posters at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres and City of Ottawa Client Service Centres; and,
- Bus Operators reminding students to move to Presto.
The next step in the restructuring of the fare system will be the withdrawal of express premium fares in January 2017. I will be certain to provide those updates in my column later this fall.
OC Transpo staff continues to work with customers, social agencies, and fare vendors to help them through the changes that are part of the fare system restructuring.
Should you have any questions or comments, I encourage you to review the Frequently Asked Questions document.