Para Transpo information session and workshop: presentation

Today’s Agenda

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Overview and Future Steps
  3. Para Transpo Initiatives Update
  4. Online Booking Workshop

Para Transpo Improvements

  • Commitment made by City to make improvements to Para Transpo service
  • Improvements are based on feedback from 2015 consultations and 2016 Council direction
  • Improvements focus on:
    • Standardizing and modernizing practices
    • Improving service efficiency
    • Introducing ParaPay
    • Increasing number of trips
    • Reducing call wait times
    • Expanding eligibility
    • Complying with AODA requirements

Para Transpo Initiatives Update


  1. New criteria for persons with developmental / mental health disabilities
  2. New conditional categories

Eligibility: New criteria

  • No barriers to persons with developmental / mental health disabilities
  • Many already qualified under other criteria
  • Criteria expanded in April 2017
  • No significant increase in customers

Eligibility: Conditional

  • Previously “winter only”
  • Conditional eligibility now includes:
    • Seasonal (not just winter, includes extreme heat and more)
    • Physical barriers
    • Variable health
    • Special events only

Applications: New Service Provider


  • Lifemark Health Services hired to assess all new applications
  • Lifemark will process and administer all three-year renewals
  • New appeal process will be implemented

Applications: New

Lifemark Health Services was the winning contractor:

  • Over 20 years experience in assessments
  • Transition of application administration underway
  • New intake, assessment and approvals will begin by February 2018

Applications: Renewal

  • All customers will be required to renew information every 3 years
  • Process will be staged and customers will be receiving renewal applications over the next 3 years
  • Lifemark will review renewal applications for consistency with new applications
  • Lifemark will contact clients for further review as required

Applications: Appeal

Formal appeal process will be implemented.

  • Appeal process will be simple and include a 3-person panel for escalated reviews
  • Panel will include 2 representatives from the Transportation and Health Departments and a Para Transpo customer
  • Panel member recruitment will begin shortly
  • Case summaries provided by Lifemark


  • ParaPay
  • Presto on Para Transpo
  • Overdraft and Account Management

Fares: ParaPay

  • Now available for all Para Transpo customers
  • Online, phone and in-person options available
  • In-person available at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres
  • AutoRenew and AutoLoad will be offered in next phase and expected in 2018

Fares: Presto on Para

  • Customers will be able to provide OC Transpo with Presto card number and a signed agreement to allow pass verification
  • Monthly pass must be loaded on a Presto card no later than 3 business days before end of the month
  • Customers will only be required to present Presto card on boarding as they would on conventional, but no recording of information is required
  • Regular payment methods still apply for Presto cards without a monthly pass

Fares: Overdraft & Account Management

  • All customers are responsible for paying for services used
  • Customers who do not pay for a trip will be issued a No Fare Slip
  • Requests for clearing outstanding balances will be made at time of booking
  • Warnings will be sent when customer has a balance owing greater than $25
  • Customers with outstanding balances will face suspension of services at certain levels


  • Automated cancellation phone system
  • New Cancellation Policy and Account Management

Cancellations: Automated Option

  • All customers are encouraged to use the interactive phone system to confirm or cancel a current day’s booking (prior to trip times)
  • Information available on or in printed form. Requests can be made through a Customer Service Representative

Cancellations: New Policy

  • New policy is for all bookings – subscription and demand (daily)
  • A late cancellation is now less than 3 hours prior to trip time
  • Points are assigned for cancellations
  • 1 point for late cancellation
  • 2 points for no-show or cancel at door
  • Warnings issued at certain point levels
  • 3-, 7- or 28-day suspension of services occurs when defined point levels are reached

Cancellations: Account Management

  • Account management will begin when customers are approaching suspension levels
  • As customers accumulate points, a letter will be issued or customer will be called
  • 3-, 7- or 28-day suspensions can occur at defined point levels

Online Booking

  • 2015 consultations indicated various preferences and views on advance booking and the ability to book trips online
  • Transit industry comparator research is underway to see if other para transit providers of comparable size have implemented online booking with the same technical system used by OC Transpo
  • Online booking is another option to complement the existing phone method
    • Will require significant IT programming changes
    • Could follow the implementation of current Para Transpo projects directed by Commission and Council in 2016

Question 1

  • With online booking, there likely will be advance booking, meaning more than one day in advance
  • What number of days works best? 3 days? 7 days? 14 days?
  • How many non-subscription advance bookings should a customer be allowed?

Question 2

Booking Reminders

  • a) If booking is further than 1 day in advance, will a reminder be required?
  • b) If yes, what type of reminders would work best for you?
    • Automated phone message
    • E-mail
    • Other? (please specify)

Question 3

  • Para Transpo has a diverse customer base, and many of them are not able to use a computerized system
  • Barriers could include:
    • Lack of computer skills
    • Cognitive skills
    • Financial barriers (no computer, no internet, no cell phone)
  • Can you identify other barriers people may face if an online system were introduced?

Question 4

  • How do you recommend overcoming these barriers?
  • Options could include:
    • Allowing phone booking to start 2 hours prior to online booking
    • Creating a phone IVR booking system (will only book to certain select addresses)
    • Can you recommend any other ways to overcome these barriers?

Upcoming Consultation: Emergency and Protective Services

  • How new accessibility fees, paid by Uber and other PTCs, can be used to offset costs for a number of programs supporting accessible transportation
  • Various sessions on January 30 and February 16, 2018
  • If interested, please see registration desk as you leave for more information
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