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Presto on Para Transpo

Image - Presto on Para Transpo

We’re making it easier to use your Presto monthly pass on Para Transpo.

Para Transpo customers no longer need to carry a monthly pass receipt with their Presto card. Para Transpo customers can now provide their Presto card number to Para Transpo and our system will confirm to the operator that the pass is loaded.

Once your card has been provided to Para Transpo, show your card to the operator for verification when boarding. This process will shorten boarding times for customers using a Presto monthly pass to pay on Para Transpo.

Follow these steps to use Presto as a pass:

  1. Contact Para Transpo to provide your Presto card number by:
  2. Allow 48 hours for your first trip for Para Transpo to verify that you have a monthly pass.
  3. Remember to bring your Presto card on your trip to show the operator or taxi driver.
  4. Next month, load your monthly pass and it will be recorded automatically.

Once you have provided your Presto card number, our system will check for new passes every night. All passes will continue to be valid for non-rural fares only. A reminder that monthly passes do not apply to rural fares.

OC Transpo continues to work on a system to allow customers to tap Presto cards on Para Transpo mini-buses and taxis.

How to use Presto

Learn how to load money onto your Presto card, register your card, and use your card to ride transit.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is Presto on Para Transpo?

Presto on Para Transpo will start in December 2020. If you provide us with your Presto card number and give us permission to review the card, we’ll check your Presto card every month to see if you have purchased / loaded a monthly pass on the card. If a monthly pass has been purchased / loaded on the card, when you board the Para Transpo vehicle, the operator / taxi driver will see ’No Fare to Collect’ and just needs to see the Presto card to confirm that the card number matches the last 11 digits of the registered card which will show on their display screen.

It means you no longer have to show your receipt from your pass, and the operator / taxi driver doesn’t have to write out a receipt for you. But you still do need to show the operator / taxi driver your card.

2. How can I provide my Presto card to OC Transpo?

You can call 613-560-5000 (TTY users can call 711 or use their provider’s relay service).

3. When can I provide my Presto card number?

We’ll be doing testing with a small select group starting on December 1, 2020. The program will be available to all customers on December 15, so you can start providing your Presto card number on that date.

4. Will this work with all types of monthly passes?

It will work for all passes that count as full fare on Para Transpo. A reminder that the Access Pass only counts as 1/3 of the fare and requires a cash top up.

And also just a reminder that a monthly pass does not apply towards a rural fare.

5. When will you be checking if I have a monthly pass on my Presto card?

It’s an automatic process that’s done daily. So it normally will check overnight, every night, once you have provided your Presto card to us.

However, keep in mind if you load your pass late in the day, or if Presto is slow in processing it, it may be after the system’s already checked, so it may only pick up the next night.

6. Can you check later in the month, or early the next month? I may forget to load until the 1st day of the month.

Yes, the system will keep checking every night up until the 14th of the month, after which passes are no longer available.

7. Will I get a credit / refund for any trips for the month if I travel before I loaded my monthly pass?

It depends on when you loaded your pass. For example, if you loaded your pass on the 2nd day of the month, but you took trips on the 1st day of the month, you would not get any credits / refunds for the 1st, because you didn’t have a monthly pass on that day.

If you feel you are owed a refund, please contact 613-560-5000 to submit a request, which will be researched.

8. What if I haven’t loaded a pass this month?

If you don’t have a monthly pass loaded this month, and if you have a ParaPurse funds balance, it will automatically take the payment from your ParaPurse. If you don’t have any funds in your account, the system will tell the operator / taxi driver that they need to collect a fare from you when you board.

9. If I don’t load a pass this month, but I do load a pass next month, do I have to provide my Presto card number again?

No, we’ll keep your Presto card number on file, and check it every month. If you have a monthly pass that month, we’ll update ParaPay. If you don’t have a monthly pass, you’ll have to pay normally, but we’ll still check again for the next month.

10. What if I lose my Presto card, or it’s damaged / defective, and I had to get a new card?

You will need to call us ASAP to change the Presto card number on your file. Make sure you follow the usual transfer process to transfer your pass and registration (and any funds) to the new card (remember to not register the new card, or you can’t transfer). See for information on replacing a card.

Otherwise, we’ll still be checking the old card, and your pass won’t show.

11. What if I want to remove my Presto card number from your list?

If ever you change your mind, you can always call us, and we’ll remove your Presto card number from our list. It will only take effect for the next pass month.

12. Can I give you the Presto card to check for a monthly pass for my companion?

No, you can provide only your own monthly pass. If your companion is also a Para Transpo customer, we suggest you each set up a booking in your own names, rather than listing the second person as a companion.

If your companion is not a Para Transpo customer, but has a Presto card with a monthly pass, they will need to show their card and receipt of monthly pass purchase when they board, and like we did previously, the operator / taxi driver will fill out a Fare Receipt / Invoice.

13. What if I booked a trip before I loaded my pass, but my pass was valid when the trip happened? For example, if I have a regular / subscription booking, which is booked weeks in advance.

We will check for your regular bookings, and flag the system to apply the pass when it is loaded to any bookings within the month for which you have a pass.

The new pass should show in the system. If it doesn’t, a Fare Receipt / Invoice will still be filled out by the operator / driver, and when we get it, we’ll double check again and make sure it’s entered into the system. If you ever run into an issue, just give us a call at 613-560-5000, and we can check on it.

14. Why do I still need to show my Presto card to the operator / taxi driver? You already have the number on file.

Yes, we do have the number on file, but we have to ensure that only one person is using the monthly pass at a time. As such, the card must be physically present to travel, and must be shown to the operator to make sure it matches the card number we have on file that we have confirmed has a monthly pass.

15. Can I still just show my Presto card and receipt for a monthly pass to the operator / taxi driver?

Yes, but the operator / taxi driver will have to fill in the Fare Receipt / Invoice if you have not provided your Presto card number to OC Transpo. In other words, it’ll be the same process as we previously had.

16. I already registered my card with Presto. Do I still have to provide OC Transpo with my card number?

Yes, you do. Presto is a separate company – registering your card with them is your protection if your card is damaged or lost. But Presto doesn’t provide us with information on registered cards. You still have to call OC Transpo and provide us with your card number.

17. Will I be able to use my e-Purse / funds balance on my Presto card? Or will I ever be able to just tap my Presto card directly on the vehicle?

No, unfortunately, we have no way to remove the funds from the card at this time. Phase 2 of the Presto on Para project will look at how we can allow customers to tap their Presto card with a monthly pass or to use funds.

18. When will Phase 2 begin?

There are a lot of changes going on in our fare systems right now, including updating our bus and train fare card readers and the development of an open payment system. Unfortunately, however, those card readers work off different bus display systems, so they’re not compatible with Para Transpo vehicles. Plus our taxi fleet is separate from the bus fleet.

OC Transpo is working with our suppliers on new technology that could be used in both the Para Transpo buses and the contracted taxi vehicles. We are waiting for feedback on the new products before we can develop a plan on how we can roll out Phase 2. We will be reviewing our options in early 2021 and will be building a plan from there. More information will be provided to Council when we have updates available.