OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Tuesday, April 29


I'm going to Ottawa for a coop term. Can someone explain the fare system of the local transit ? I found this page and it looks very confusing.


  1. What's so confusing about it? 1. are you taking a regular bus, the otrain, paratranspo, or an express bus? Are you riding once, or are you looking for a day pass? Want a monthly pass? they have those too. Now figure out if you're paying using cash, tickets, or the transit card.

  2. I'm in Ottawa. Figure out if you're taking an express bus (not likely), then get a monthly bus pass. Ignore the rest of the page.

  3. Get a presto card, and if you end up using it enough, add a monthly pass to your card on the presto website.

  4. I've been in Ottawa 3 times, if you are taking the bus everyday for work, get a presto card, if the bus you are taking is an express bus, make sure you get the express pass loaded on it. If you are not taking the bus everyday ya buy bus tickets, a normal bus uses 2 tickets, express bus uses 3 tickets. One ticket is 1.50 from pretty much any convince store. I worked out the math once, forget the exact amount, but i think the pass is worth 33 trips, so if you only use the bus to go to and from work 15 or fewer days a month, but the tickets. And presto lets you board on the back of the bus.

    1. 4 got this right.

      Just for extra clarification, the "three coins" that are on the page just means that the actual cash/change that you need for a trip is $3.40.

      If you're not from a place that already has a Presto pass (Hamilton, GTA corridor), be sure to bring proof of a coop term and a transcript to get a student pass. What's nice about Presto is that they recently just changed the system to let the Hamilton-GTA corridor allow Ottawa passes so you can just use it when you go back to UW.

      Have fun in Ottawa!
      Check out this ask if you want suggestions for stuff to do while you're here (I'm #2, an Ottawa native):

  5. You can't get a student pass anymore