Ottawa, we’ve got you covered for OC Transpo!
With an estimated 315,000 daily riders and 97.1-million annual rides, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. But Rocketman is here to help you navigate OC Transpo’s trains and buses so you get to where you’re going with the least amount of stress.
We can let you know how long you have until the next bus arrives (so you can decide whether or not you can grab a coffee on the way), tell you about any changes or delays you’ll be experiencing, and help you figure out when you’ll get to your destination.
We want you to ride better, and we’re here to help you do just that!
How to pay for OC Transpo
If you want to ride OC Transpo, you need to pay some form of fare. This can come in a number of different forms from PRESTO Cards to paper tickets. Regardless of what you use, you’ll need to have it on-hand before you ride.
OC Transpo actively encourages regular riders to use their contactless payment option, PRESTO Cards. These can be purchased and managed online, or at a variety of in person counters.
How to buy fares/passes?
OC Transpo wants it to be easy to use their service, so it’s incredibly easy to get your hands on a fare or pass. You can purchase paper tickets, or use a PRESTO Card. These are widely available to purchase along or before your journey.
Where to buy fares/passes?
You can purchase OC Transpo fare from a ticket vending machine, available at OTrain stations. Here you can purchase a single fare, DayPass, or even a PRESTO card. You can also load your PRESTO card at these machines.
PRESTO Cards can also be purchased online, at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres, at the City Hall, Kanata and Ben Franklin locations of Service Ottawa Client Service Centres, or at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws families of stores.
You can also pay for your fare when you board the bus with a paper ticket, PRESTO Card or a DayPass.
OC Transpo Fare Zones
OC Transpo vehicles make their way around Ottawa, and you do need to pay a fare to ride any vehicle.
What is POP?
Proof of payment or POP is required to ride on any OC Transpo vehicle. This can be in the form of a transfer or your PRESTO Card.
Each single ride ticket, regardless of whether you’ve purchased it with a paper ticketor used your PRESTO Card, comes with transfers that are valid at the time you start a trip. Transfers vary depending on the time of day you are riding, but they are either 90 or 105 minutes, or expire at 4:30 am. If you pay a single paper ticket, you will need to request a paper transfer.
There are a number of different discounted pass types available to eligible OC Transpo riders, including:
Discounted senior monthly passes and single ticket pricing
UPass for eligible post-secondary students
Youth pricing and passes for individuals aged 13 to 19
Child pricing and passes for individuals aged 6 to 12
A-cards available to partially-sighted or blind passengers
Low-income fare available under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
EquiPass Transit fares for low income individuals
OC Transpo PRESTO Cards
PRESTO cards are OC Transpo’s contactless payment system that allows riders to access transit without having to have paper tickets or pay exact change. These cards are popular for Ontario Transit systems and are also used in the GTA.
You can purchase your own PRESTO Card for $6 online, at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres, at the City Hall, Kanata and Ben Franklin locations of Service Ottawa Client Service Centres, or at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws families of stores. If you need to change the fare type from adult to senior or youth, you’ll need to purchase yours in-person.
Once your card is activated, you can top it up at self-serve kiosks at transit stops and stations around Mississauga, or you can manage it from the PRESTO app on your phone (which we recommend keeping right next to Rocketman on your home screen).
PRESTO cards mean not only do you get a touchless experience and never have to worry about carrying transit change again, you can also access discounts! Making your ride cheaper and more stress free.
What is Para Transpo?
Para Transpo is a shared ride public transit service that can be booked in advance. It is open to eligible riders who are unable to take conventional transit some or all of the time due to a disability. They provide mini buses and contracted taxi services.
Getting around Ottawa with the OC Transpo
OC Transpo is one of the best and least expensive ways to get around Ottawa, but we all know transit comes with its own frustrations. Rocketman wants to help you navigate OC Transpo buses and trains so you can get to where you need to go.
OC Transpo Alerts
Rocketman provides real-time alerts and updates for OC Transpo vehicles. We help riders get where they need to go with little fuss. Stay on top of delays, know when you need to be at your stop, and have a better idea of when you’ll arrive with Rocketman. We can’t speed up your bus or stop the train for you, but we do what we can to make your journey less stressful.
What happens when there is a train station closure?
Train station closures can happen for a variety of reasons, from scheduled construction to emergencies. But Rocketman keeps on top of them. If there is an unexpected closure, we’ll let you know as soon as we do!
Ottawa Transpo safety and security policies
OC Transpo is committed to providing a safe transit system to riders. TRANSECURE is their community watch program “on wheels”—all employees are trained to respond to safety and security issues. OC Transpo works closely with police, medical, and fire emergency service, and Transit Special Constables patrol the transit service.
OC Transpo COVID-19 information
The COVID-19 situation continues to change rapidly, which means that OC Transpo service could also change. However, they remain open and dedicated to providing Ottawa residents with an affordable and efficient way to make their way around the city.
Masks are mandatory when riding OC Transport, and it is recommended that you observe social distancing measures to help limit the spread. Air is being filtered on buses, trains and Para Transpo vehicles every two minutes or less, and there are increased cleaning measures in place.
Riders are reminded that if they are not feeling well, they should stay home and not take transit.
Is OC Transpo safe?
OC Transpo is committed to providing a safe experience of both staff and riders. There are a number of safety and security measures in place that can help you should an emergency situation arise.
What happens if there is an emergency on OC Transpo?
Even the safest, most equipped transit systems still see emergencies. If you are riding an OC Transpo vehicle or are at a station and an emergency occurs, you can reach out to OC Transpo operators or security. You can also use the safety features provided to riders, which vary depending on what station you or at, or vehicle you are riding.
At a OTrain station…
OTrain stations are equipped with security features that riders can access should an emergency take place. Look out for:
Yellow emergency call boxes located throughout the stations and in each elevator, these will connect you directly with Transit Law.
Pay phone boxes that allow you to access a no-dial call that connects with with security via the “Security” button found under the number pad (this is only available at some stations
CCTV cameras on major platforms that are monitored 24/7
Lyon, Parliament, and Rideau stations are also equipped with public access defibrillators
All stations are also patrolled by Special Constables, you can request help from them if you need it.
Should an emergency arise, contact Transit Law or Security via one of the phones available, or seek the assistance of a Special Constables. If you need police, medica, or fire assistance, you can also call 911.
On the OTrain…
If you are riding the OTrain and come across or are involved in an emergency, there are a number of safety features that you can access.
Line 1 OTrains feature on-board emergency intercoms so you can communicate with the operator, on-board fire extinguishers, and CCTV surveillance cameras. Use the on-board emergency intercom to alert your driver about the emergency and wait for future instructions.
Line 2 OTrains feature on-board emergency intercoms so you can communicate with the operator, an emergency break that allows you to stop the train, and red hammers to break windows if doors aren’t accessible in an emergency and passengers need to get out. If an emergency arises, contact the driver via the intercom and alert them of the situation and wait for further instructions.
On a bus…
If you come across or are involved in an emergency while on an OC Transpo bus, there are a few things you can do. Articulated (long) buses and double-deckers are equipped with Passenger Assistance Alarms, which will let the operator know that an emergency is ongoing.
When the alarm is activated, the operator will let the OC Transpo control centre know, make an announcement over the PA system to let riders know that the alarm has been activated, and the bus needs to be stopped to investigate it. Further instructions may be provided.
What do I do if I see something on OC Transpo and need to report it?
If you are riding OC Transpo and you see something that you think should be reported, you can reach the Special Constables Unit by phone at 613-741-2478 or 613-842-3699 (TTY). You can also make a report via their online form.
How do I lodge a complaint with Ottawa Transpo?
If you want to file a complaint with OC Transpo, they encourage you to do so via their online customer feedback form.
What to do when you lose something while riding OC Transpo?
Forgetting an item on transit happens to the best of us, so if you find yourself short something when you finish your journey with OC Transpo, fear not, they do have a lost and found!
OC Transpo’s Lost & Found is managed by Heartwood House which is normally where you’d be able to pick your missing item up. However, due to COVID-19, the Lost & Found is currently closed. While items that you might urgently need—wallets, purses, medication, work devices—can be picked up by appointment, all other items will be held in storage until it is safe to resume normal operations.
If you are missing an item, call Heartwood House at 613-563-4011 after 11 am on the next business day or email email@example.com. For non-urgent items your name will be added to it until it is safe to pick up, for urgent items a pick-up time will be arranged. If you have lost something while riding today that you need immediately, like medication, you should call OC Transpo’s Customer Service line 613-741-4390.
If you have found an item, you can return it to any bus driver, Heartwood House, Customer Service Centres or an OC Transpo Special Constable. If you find a bus pass, put it into any Canada Post mailbox and it will be sent back to OC Transpo.
What to do when you lose something on the train?
If you leave something behind on the OTrain, you should call Heartwood House at 613-563-4011 after 11 am on the next business day or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to do when you lose something on the bus?
If you leave something behind on an OC Transpo bus, you should call Heartwood House at 613-563-4011 after 11 am on the next business day or email email@example.com.