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My Good Habits. My Bus.

ECHO

Project description

Mobility is an important factor in a city's economic and social development. This project makes it possible to offer reduced fares for Gatineau residents whose annual income is below the low income cut-off. The passes give access to public transit on the STO and OC Transpo systems. In addition, these fares are valid on both regular transit and paratransit.

 

 Submit your application at a service point by December 15 to take advantage of the ECHO fares as early as January 1.

Please bring photocopies of vouchers with you to submit your application. NO photocopies of your documents will be made at the Point of Service.

Project description
Passes and fares
Eligible individuals
Apply
Fill form

FAQ

Passes and fares

The ECHO's fares are dispensed on Multi Smart Card.

Two options are available for eligible individuals:  

  • Monthly pass (unlimited access) for $64.00* per month. This pass allows unlimited access, without restrictions, for a full month (from the first day to the last day of the month).

Monthly pass

Basic fare

Monthly pass

ECHO fare

$95/month

$63.50/month

  • E-wallet for $2.60* per trip. The e-wallet is as easy to use as a ticket. Simply load money on the card and present the card when boarding. Transfers are managed automatically for two hours. A minimum purchase of $10 is required every time the card is loaded online, at a service point or at a retail outlet.

    Paratransit riders, check the payment options here.

E-wallet

Basic fare

E-wallet

ECHO fare

$3.40/trip

$2.60/trip

Overall, it is a discount of more than 30% compared to the regular fares.

* Fares subject to change without notice.

Who can get one and how does it work?

ECHO is intended for individuals aged 16* or over whose family income is below the low income cut-off as defined every year by the Government of Canada. As a reference, below are the thresholds set for 2017 that will be used to determine eligibility based on an individual's family situation. These amounts are updated at the beginning of the year and used to
determine the admissibility.

Household Size

LICO

1 person

$17,240

2 persons

$20,982

3 persons

$26,128

4 persons

$32,596

5 persons

$37,118

6 persons

$41,165

7 persons or +

$45,211

You are a low income adult aged 16 or over* living alone, in a couple, with or without children
You are a full-time student aged 16 or over
You receive social assistance
You are a newcomer

You are a low income adult aged 16 or over* living alone, in a couple, with or without children

* If under 18, must be deemed fully emancipated by a court order or be married or have been married. 

If I am eligible, what must I do?


Application forms are available at all STO service points and in a printable format.

Once the form has been completed, you must include with it all the required documents to prove your eligibility. For example:

If you are a person living alone
You must submit the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016;
  • A photocopy of the Statement for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit for 2016;
  • For persons under 18, a photocopy of one of the documents proving that you are a fully emancipated adult: court order, marriage certificate or divorce order. 


If you are in a couple
You must submit the following documents for you and your spouse living at the same address:

  • A photocopy of your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016;
  • A photocopy of the Statement for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit for 2016;
  • For persons under 18, a photocopy of one of the documents proving that you are a fully emancipated adult: court order, marriage certificate or divorce order. 

If you have children
In addition to the documents above, you must also submit:

  • A photocopy of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2016.

You are a full-time student aged 16 or over

Students aged 20 or under
Full-time students aged 20 or under on September 1 of the current year are not eligible since the STO already offers a discount through various existing passes and fares. 
Full-time Student Fares (Age 17 to 20)

Students aged 21 or over
To be eligibile, full-time students aged 21 or over must have a family income below the low income cut-offs (LICOs) as defined every year by the Government of Canada. As a reference, below are the cut-offs for 2017. They will be used to determine eligibility based on the number of persons in the household. The amounts are updated at the beginning of the year. Starting January 2018, new cut-offs will be used.

If I am eligible, what must I do?

Application forms are available at all STO service points and in a printable format.

Once the form has been completed, you must include with it all the required documents to prove your eligibility. For example:

If you are a person living alone
You must submit the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016;
  • A photocopy of the Statement for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit for 2016;
  • For persons under 18, a photocopy of one of the documents proving that you are a fully emancipated adult: court order, marriage certificate or divorce order. 


If you are in a couple
You must submit the following documents for you and your spouse living at the same address:

  • A photocopy of your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016;
  • A photocopy of the Statement for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit for 2016;
  • For persons under 18, a photocopy of one of the documents proving that you are a fully emancipated adult: court order, marriage certificate or divorce order. 


If you have children
In addition to the documents above, you must also submit:

  • A photocopy of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2016.

You receive social assistance

Individuals who receive assistance from Quebec's Social Assistance and Social Solidarity Program are eligible but must still submit an application. Note that any adults aged 16 or over in a household who are not full-time students but who are deemed fully emancipated by a court order or are married or have been married must submit their own application.

Application forms are available at all STO service points and in a printable format.

Once the form has been completed, you must include with it the required document to prove your eligibility.

You must submit the following document for each applicant:

  • A photocopy of your claim booklet provided by the Quebec's Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).

You are a newcomer

To be considered a newcomer, you must have arrived in Canada within the last 12 months. If you arrived more than 12 months ago, refer to the section You are a low income adult aged 16 or over living alone, in a couple, with or without children for the eligibility requirements.

Application forms are available at all STO service points and in a printable format.

Once the form has been completed, you must include with it the required document to prove your eligibility.

You must submit one of the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your claim booklet provided by Quebec's Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).

OR

                                                    

  • A photocopy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

OR

  • A photocopy of the Refugee Protection Claimant Document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

To apply


Place the required document(s) in a sealed envelope addressed to: STO social fare program.

The envelope can be:

  • Mailed to 111 Jean-Proulx, Gatineau, Quebec, J8Z 1T4

OR


*Check the business hours before you go.

Allow about one month to process your application and receive a letter:

  • If you receive a letter informing you that you are not eligible, the reason will be stated. If your application is incomplete, you will have 60 days to complete it. If you are not eligible, you can reapply the following year. 
  • If you receive a letter confirming your eligibility, go to an STO service point.
    Have the confirmation letter and photo ID with you.
    If you already have a Multi card, bring it with you. The first Multi card is free, but if it is lost or stolen, a card replacement fee will apply.

Subsequent loading can be done in person at a service point, your local retail outlet or online at sto.ca/myprofile

Note that you must reapply every year and that your renewal date will be indicated in your letter. See the example.

Confidentiality of personal records: Only photocopies of the documents are accepted, and once the application has been processed, all documents will be destroyed.

If you have any questions

Contact us:

1-What is a social fare?

A social fare is a fare where eligibility is based on a person's family income, supported by the appropriate documents. It allows low income individuals and families to take the bus at a more affordable cost.

2-What reduced fare passes are available?

Eligible individuals have two options:

  1. A monthly pass for unlimited access to public transit for a month;
  2. The e-wallet to pay for single trips.

3-Are social fares also accepted by paratransit?

Yes, definitely. The same fare is valid on both regular transit and paratransit. Individuals are eligible for the fares, regardless of the service they use.

4-How much does it cost?

In short, it is a discount of more than 30% of the regular basic fare on a monthly pass and the e-wallet (equivalent to the student fare).

In 2018, the monthly pass is $64.00 per month for a savings of $33.00 per month compared to the regular fare, and the e-wallet is $2.60 or a savings of $0.80 per trip.

5-Who can buy a social fare?

When the social fare takes effect in January 2018, the following persons will be eligible:

Recipients of the social Assistance program;

Newcomers to Canada – less than 12 months;

Low income adults aged 16 or over, living alone, in a couple, with or without children with a family income below the low income cut-offs (LICOs) as defined every year by the Government of Canada.

Note that persons under 18 must be deemed fully emancipated by a court order or be married or have been married. 

This cut-off is revised annually and depends on a person's family situation, number of dependents and the size of the community/city. As a reference, below are the cut-offs for 2017:

Household Size

LICO

1 person

$17,240

2 persons

$20,982

3 persons

$26,128

4 persons

$32,596

5 persons

$37,118

6 persons

$41,165

7 persons or +

$45,211

 

The supporting documents requested may vary depending on status – only photocopies are accepted and all documents will be destroyed once the application has been processed.

 

 

6-What are the required supporting documents

For recipients of the social assistance program
You must submit:

  • A photocopy of your claim booklet provided by Quebec's Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS);

For newcomers

You must submit one of the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your claim booklet provided by Quebec's Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).

OR

 

  • A photocopy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

OR

 

  • A photocopy of the Refugee Protection Claimant Document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

If you are a person living alone
You must submit the following documents:

  • A photocopy of your most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016.

AND

  • A photocopy of the Statement for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit.

FOR persons age 18

  • A photocopy of one of the documents proving that you are a fully emancipated adult: court order, marriage certificate or divorce order.

If you are in a couple

 

  • The spouse living at the same address must submit the same supporting documents as the primary applicant.

If you have children

In addition to the documents above, you must also submit:

  • A photocopy of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2016.

7-How do I submit an application?

Application forms are available at all STO service points and a printable version is online at sto.ca.

Once the form has been completed, you must include with it all the required documents to prove your eligibility.

You must place all the documents in a sealed envelope addressed to: STO social fare program.

The envelope can be:

  • Mailed to 111 Jean-Proulx, Gatineau, Quebec  J8Z 1T4

OR

  • Dropped off in person at an STO service point*

Aylmer sector

Hull sector

Gatineau
sector

Galeries Aylmer
181 Principale

Principale

STO

111 Jean-Proulx

Village Place Cartier
425 St-Joseph

 De la Cité
 station – Rapibus
 459 De la Cité

8-How long will it take to get a response?

The STO will process applications within a maximum of one month. A confirmation letter will be mailed to each applicant. It will confirm whether or not you are eligible.

9-What must I do once I have received a response?

Once you have received the letter, you must go to an STO service point
Have the confirmation letter and photo ID with you. If you already have a Multi card, please bring it with you. If not, we will make one for you there. The first card is free, but if it is lost or stolen, a card replacement fee of $10 will apply.
Once that is done, you will have everything you need to make your first purchase. 

Subsequent loading can be done in person at an STO service point, your local retail outlet or on line. To learn more, click here.

10-How can I find out if I am eligible?

Refer to ligne 236 of your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency for 2016 to know your net income.

Add up all the income of all the adults in your family who are aged 16 or over who are not full-time students and who live at the same address. 

Then refer to the table below. Find your eligible cut-off according to the total number of persons in your family, including dependents, and children aged 20 or under who are full-time students. 

Household Size

LICO

1 person

$17,240

2 persons

$20,982

3 persons

$26,128

4 persons

$32,596

5 persons

$37,118

6 persons

$41,165

7 persons or +

$45,211

If your total family income is higher than the cut-off, you are not eligible. 

If your total family income is lower than the cut-off, you are eligible. 

11-Est-ce que les personnes admissibles auront une carte particulière? Est-ce qu'ils seront facilement identifiables?

With the smart card, everything is managed electronically. Riders eligible for the social fare will have the same card as riders in the Adult category. 

When they load their pass or e-wallet, the fare offered will be reduced.

To board a bus, the card is validated like all the other smart cards. Only the green light glows to confirm that the pass is valid.

12-How will you ensure the confidentiality of personal information?

Only photocopies are accepted, and once the application has been processed, everything is destroyed. We do not keep any documents or photocopies containing personal or confidential information.

13-Can eligible persons get a life-time reduction?

No, the status must be renewed every year. In general, eligibility will be valid for a period of 12 to 23 months. Your renewal date will be indicated in your confirmation letter. It will coincide with the income tax period which usually ranges from between April and June including receipt of your Notice of Assessment and the other documents required for your application.

Note that those who apply during winter 2018 will be eligible until spring 2019.

14-Are students eligible?

No, students are not eligible because the discounts they receive on the monthly pass and e-wallet are equivalent to the social fare.

15-Are seniors eligible?

No, seniors are not eligible simply because the cost of their monthly pass is lower and the discount for the e-wallet is equivalent to the social fare.

 

 

16- Can persons who have not filed an income tax return still apply?

No, except for newcomers who have arrived in Canada within the last 12 months, who must submit specific supporting documents.

©

2012 Société de transport de l'Outaouais. All rights reserved. The information and data on this site may not be used for business purposes or financial gain without authorization from the STO.