ECHO social fare

Pay less to take the bus

  • For Gatineau residents whose annual income is below the low income cut-off and newcomers arrived in Canada within the last 12 months.
  • A saving of $46 off the regular monthly fare  
  • Available with a personalized Multi card 
    • Paratransit customers can pay cash
    • Regular system customers can use their pass on STO and OC Transpo buses  

A unique program in Quebec that is making a real difference in people’s lives 

  • Thanks to the ÉCHO Program, we are making a tangible difference in Gatineau’s social and economic development with a more accessible public transit system:
    • helps people break out of isolation
    • encourages participation and integration into civil life; and
    • helps people access and keep jobs

Payment methods and fares

Regular system customers

  1. Monthly enrolment with the Multi card
  2. E-wallet on the Multi card
    • Fare: $2.80* per trip 
    • Practical and ecological
    • As easy to use as a paper ticket 
    • Load money onto your Multi card 
    • Minimum purchase of $10 each time you load
    • Pass your Multi card over the reader on the bus
    • The transfer is automatically generated and is valid for two hours

STO proud!

We are the first transportation company in Quebec to offer a social fare that makes public transit more accessible for everyone.

Paratransit customers 

    • Fare: $2.80* per trip
    • Cash payment accepted given that paratransit vehicles do not have a reader.

PAYMENT METHOD

Standard FARE (2024)

ECHO FARE (2024)

Monthly enrolment with Multi card

$110*/month

$64*/month

Fare per trip with Multi card

$3.80*

$2.80*

* Fares subject to change without notice.

Who is eligible for the ECHO Program?

Every Gatineau resident whose annual income is below the low-income cut-off:

  • Amount identified by the Government of Canada
  • Updated at the start of the year
  • Used to determine whether a person is eligible for the ECHO Program based on:
    • their status
    • the annual incomes of their family members aged 16 and over who are not full-time students and live at the same address.

GOOD TO KNOW!

Refer to line 236 of your federal income tax return for your annual income.

Household size

Low-income cut-off 

Household size

Low-income cut-off 

1 person

19 283 $

5 persons

41 516 $

2 persons

23 469 $

6 persons

46 042 $

3 persons

29 224 $

7 persons or +

50 568 $

4 persons

36 459$

 

 

 Eligibility

  1. Gatineau resident with a low income aged 16 or over
    • living alone
    • living as a couple
    • living with or without children
  2. Social assistance recipient
  3. Newcomer

Apply to enroll 

Fill out the enrolment form and submit it along with all of the required documents. Address the envelope to the ECHO PROGRAM and:

  1. mail it to:
    111 rue Jean-Proulx, Gatineau, Quebec  J8Z 1T4.
    OR
  2. bring it in person to anySTO service point:
  • You cannot photocopy your documents at the service points

CONFIDENTIALITY OF PERSONAL RECORDS:
Only photocopies of the documents are accepted and, once the application has been processed, all documents are destroyed.

Documents required according to your status

Resident aged 16 or over with low income

 Living alone 

  1. the ECHO Program enrolment form filled out online or in printable format; (manque formulaire ECHO.pdf)
  2. a copy of the statement for the Goods and your most recent Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit; and
  3. if you are under age 18, a copy of a document proving that you are a fully emancipated adult:
    • court order; or
    • marriage certificate or divorce order. 

FULL-TIME STUDENT

You are not eligible for the ÉCHO Program. Instead, check the reduced fares for students

Living as a couple

  1. the ECHO Program enrolment form filled out online or in printable format; 
  2. a copy of your most recent statement for the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit; and
  3. if you are under age 18, a copy of a document proving that you are a fully emancipated adult:
    • court order; or
    • marriage certificate or divorce order. 

With children

In addition to the documents listed above, you must also submit a copy of your most recent Canada child benefit (CCB) statement.

Social assistance recipient

  1. the ECHO Program enrolment form filled out online or in printable format; and (manque formulaire ECHO.pdf)
  2. a copy of your most recent claim booklet provided by Quebec’s Ministère du travail, de l'emploi et de la solidarité sociale (MTESS). 

According to an employee at Le Boulev’art de la Vallée, customers who are in a precarious financial situation would face somewhat less stress when it comes to getting around. They could get out more and break out of their isolation.

Newcomers

To be considered a newcomer:

Required documents:

  1. The ECHO Program enrolment form filled out online or in printable format; (manque formulaire ECHO.pdf) and
  2. a copy of your claim booklet provided by Quebec’s Ministère du travail, de l'emploi et de la solidarité sociale (MTESS); OR
  3. a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; OR
  4. a copy of the Refugee Protection Claimant Document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; OR
  5. a copy of the certificate of identity for refugees.

Processing your application

Allow approximately one month to have your application processed. You can contact us at 819 770-3242 to know your application statut.

If your eligibility is confirmed

  • go to any STO service point;
  • bring:
    • a photo ID; and
    • any original supporting documents if necessary; 
  • if you already have a Multi card, bring it;
  • if you do not have a Multi card, we will provide one when you come in; 
  • the first Multi card is free, but if it is lost or stolen, a replacement fee will apply;
  • you can then load your Multi card:

*A minimum purchase of $10 is required to load your card.

Your application is incomplete

You have 60 days to provide the missing information.

You are not eligible

The reason will be indicated in the email you receive. You can reapply the following year. 

Reapplying

  • You must reapply every year before the end of July
  • Try to reapply at least one month before the deadline 

Contact us 

By email: echo@sto.ca
By phone: 819-770-3242.
In person: at any STO service point.