OC Transpo looks to raise prices when Presto begins
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 5:31PM EDT
The City of Ottawa is looking to raise OC Transpo ticket prices by 15 per cent as it moves towards its new cashless fare option.
Adult, student and senior tickets would rise 40 cents from $2.60 to $3 on Canada Day, while express tickets would go from $3.90 to $4.50.
Cash fares would go up a nickel to $3.30, keeping Ottawa cash fares higher than Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton (all $3) Calgary ($2.75) and Vancouver ($2.50).
The hike comes as OC Transpo continues to test its Presto smart card system, which transit commission chair Diane Deans said will have a cheaper fare increase to $2.65.
"We're very excited to have Presto in Ottawa and we want our riders to use it," she said. "If you choose our new Presto system for an adult fare the price increase is just about two per cent."
Card users will be able to either load them with cash and have fares deducted from the balance, or load it with a monthly pass and use it like the current paper version.
Deans said the service is on schedule to begin July 1.
"It won't be a full go (July 1) but a significant implementation that'll continue the rest of the year," she said.
It's unknown how much it will cost to get the cards themselves, which cost the city $32 million to set up.
Riders said they're on board with the new cards, provided they work as advertised.
"I'm happy to try it . . . hopefully it will be convenient for people," said Melissa Ferland.
"It's really interesting what they're trying to do, definitely cool," said another rider.
The recommendation goes to the Transit Commission next week.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee