City entices bus riders with PRESTO smart card giveaway
Published Friday, April 20, 2012 6:36PM EDT
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