In an effort to have bus riders dump tickets and cash this summer, the City of Ottawa is giving away 200,000 PRESTO smart cards.

The PRESTO card functions like a prepaid credit card for transit. Users can load it up with a monthly pass or as much cash as they want and share it with family and friends.

"Once people understand that it's going to be more convenient -- that it's going to be cheaper – they're going to realize it's a good deal," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. "The fact of the matter is that fumbling around for tickets and with monthly passes and cash, this is a much more efficient way of getting on the bus. It'll save you money, save you time and frustration."

OC Transpo will officially launch its PRESTO smart-card system in July.

Customers have a chance of getting a free card starting June 10. After the first 200,000 are gone, those who want one will have to buy it for $6.

City officials say the technology provided by PRESTO is considered industry's best. It has been tried in other cities, but will be a first for Ottawa.

Free cards will be available online and at a few City facilities.

More information regarding the card and how to get a free one will be unveiled Monday at a Transit Commission meeting.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Katie Griffin