Presto Smart Card System Looks Exciting, But Is It?

OTTAWA, Canada – The idea of not having to find exact change for bus fare is certainly a positive one, and Ottawa is trying to do just that with the new Presto system. In fact, last week, Ottawa agreed to give out 200,000 Presto smart cards during the month of June and waive the initial $6 fee. Even with this move, though, riders still have many questions about the program.

One of the big advantages of the system is that passengers can actually load money onto the Presto card using a credit card and an internet connection. Additionally, there are three other locations in the city where people can reload the card. Passengers can either buy a monthly pass with the card or they can have the fare per ride deducted from the balance on their cards.

The real question, though, surrounds the fact that the city plans to do away with bus tickets, which could be a real drawback for those elderly and low-income people who don’t have credit cards. Fortunately, the city has come up with alternatives on how to load the Presto card so it’s possible to transfer cash to the card too.


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