Use Your Card To Ride
Using your PRESTO card is easy – you simply tap on the PRESTO reader at the door of the bus as you board. Always tap!
If you pay-per-ride, the reader will deduct the cost of the ride when you start your trip. A transfer time is added to your card when you tap – valid for 90 minutes on weekdays, 105 minutes evenings, weekends and holidays.
Sharing a card
A PRESTO card can be used by different people:
- With a monthly pass, another person can use your card when you aren't using it.
- If you pay-per-ride, use the balance on your card to pay someone else's fare. Just let the operator know and a second fare will be deducted from your card.
PRESTO cards with discount fares can only be shared by people who are eligible for the discount rate.
If you pay-per-month, the reader will check your card for a current monthly pass. On express buses it checks for an express pass. If your card has a regular-fare pass and you sometimes ride express routes, you can keep a cash balance on your card to pay the “top-up”.
O-train & STO
PRESTO works on the O-Train. It also works on STO buses, with this exception:
- You cannot pay-per-ride with PRESTO if you start your trip on an STO bus. However, you may use PRESTO to transfer to an STO bus from an OC Transpo bus, if the transfer-time is still valid.
Visit any of the locations below to set or change the language setting on your card to English or French so the PRESTO reader on the bus displays information for you in the language of your choice.
- OC Transpo Sales Centres: Rideau Centre, Lincoln Fields, St. Laurent and Orléans
PRESTO cards in the GTHA
OC Transpo has received the latest generation of PRESTO technology - which means the cards issued for Ottawa riders are not interoperable with the PRESTO system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). PRESTO cards currently used in the GTHA area cannot yet be used in Ottawa, and vice versa.
In the future, the GTHA and Ottawa PRESTO systems will be upgraded to be fully compatible. At this point the e-Purse on all PRESTO cards will be available for use on all participating transit systems.
View PDF brochure:
OC Transpo's route planning and consultation program, where riders have a chance to provide ideas and input.
Allow 24-48 Hours Before Riding
When you load your card online at prestocard.ca
Lend Your Card
Not using your PRESTO card? Lend it to someone in the same fare category!