Para Transpo introduces Trip Reservation and Cancellation Web Forms.
Starting on Friday, February 21, OC Transpo invites all Para Transpo customers to test the new reservation and cancellation Web forms on octranspo.com. This is a temporary way to book and cancel Para Transpo trips online until the full suite of online services is made available later this year.
The interim Web forms will allow Para Transpo customers to reserve a next-day or statutory holiday trip, or to cancel a trip online. The Web forms are accessible and mobile-friendly, and can be found in the Para Transpo section of octranspo.com. The new Web forms allow customers to avoid the phone queue when making reservations and cancellations.
OC Transpo encourages all customers to test the new Web forms, but the service recognizes that some customers will continue to use the phone lines based on their personal needs or preferences. To ensure access to trips remains equitable for all customers, all requests made on the phone and using the Web form will be prioritized and actioned based on the time received.
Staff will continue to work with its software supplier and working groups to develop the full suite of online services for Para Transpo customers, which will be rolled out at the end of 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is OC Transpo implementing an interim web form for Para Transpo trip reservations and cancellations?
As indicated in the Para Transpo Online Services Implementation Plan Update report received by the Transit Commission in November 2019, a Web form is being provided to customers as a temporary way to book and cancel Para Transpo trips online until a full suite of online services is made available to customers starting at the end of 2020.
How do customers test the web forms?
Customers can test the web forms by visiting the Para Transpo section of octranspo.com.
Process for reserving next-day trips:
- Customers submit their requests up until 3:30 p.m. the day before the requested trip by filling out the reservation web form at octranspo.com (Note: customers can also use the Web form to reserve trips on statutory holidays up to one week in advance).
- An automated email is sent to confirm that the request is received.
- Reservations are entered into the queue with phone bookings.
- Trip reservations are manually reviewed and entered by staff.
- A second email is sent to the customer to confirm their booking.
Process for cancelling trips:
- Customers fill out the cancellation web form up to one hour before the scheduled pick-up time of the booked trip at octranspo.com.
- An automated email is sent to confirm that the cancellation is received.
What information is required when filling out the Web form?
When using the Web forms, customers will need to provide the same information as they would when booking or cancelling a trip on the phone.
- Para Transpo registration number
- Customer’s full name
- Trip information (date, time and pick-up/drop-off location)
- Whether a support person or companion will be riding with the customer
- Para Transpo registration number
- Customer’s full name
- Trip information (date, time and pick-up location)
Customers will also need to provide a contact email address so that OC Transpo can send the confirmation once the trip is booked or cancelled. In addition, the web form asks for a contact phone number in the event staff need to contact a customer to clarify a request received through a Web form.
Can a support person, family member or agency fill out the Web form on a customer’s behalf?
Yes, a support person, family member or agency can fill out a Web form on a customer’s behalf. They will require the customer’s Para Transpo registration number in order to use the Web forms.
Can a customer book more than one next-day trip with the Web form?
Yes, the reservation Web form allows a customer to request up to four trips for the next day.
Can a customer create a new subscription booking using the Web form?
No, the Web form can only be used to reserve a next-day trip or a booking on a statutory holiday. This feature will be available in the full suite of online services, which will be rolled out to customers at the end of 2020.
Will trip reservations submitted through the Web form be given priority over phone bookings?
No. To ensure access to trips remains equitable for all customers, all requests made on the phone and using the web form will be prioritized and actioned based on the time received.
Can customers still book and cancel their trips via phone?
Yes. While we encourage all customers to try out the new web forms, we recognize that some customers will continue to use the phone lines based on their personal needs or preferences.
How are the Web forms different than the full suite of online services that are to be made available at the end of 2020?
The Web forms are meant to provide a temporary way for customers to reserve a next-day trip or cancel a trip online, while staff work with the customer working group and the software supplier to develop the full system. When a customer submits a request through the web form, the request requires manual intervention by staff who will take information provided in the Web form, then enter it or cancel it in the scheduling system. When the full system is available, customers will make their bookings online using a computer or on a mobile app, and the information will be entered into the scheduling system directly, similar to how reservations are made for an airline or a hotel.
Why is there a deadline of 3:30 p.m. to reserve a next-day trip when the phone lines close at 5:00 p.m.?
This is the same time that we provide for the Para Transpo reservations call back queue to ensure that all trip requests can be actioned on a timely basis.
Did OC Transpo test the Web forms with customers?
Yes, testing has been completed in phases and began in late December. Last week, we invited selected customers to test the Web forms. On Friday, February 21, we will be inviting all customers to test the Web forms. Customers are welcome to provide us with feedback on the interim Web forms via the email address noted on our website. This feedback will help us determine if any refinements are required for the benefit of customers.
How will customers know that their trip reservations are confirmed?
When reserving a next-day or statutory holiday trip request using the Web form, customers will receive two e-mails: 1) an automated confirmation e-mail confirming receipt of their web form; and, 2) a second e-mail will be sent as soon as the reservation has been processed by staff.
How will customers know that their trip cancellations have been received and processed by OC Transpo?
When cancelling a trip using the Web form, customers will receive an automated confirmation e-mail that their cancellation request has been received. No further action from the customer is required.
How will OC Transpo promote the new Web forms to customers?
OC Transpo will promote the new web forms using a variety of customer information channels, including:
- E-mail to Council and Transit Commission with key messages and FAQs
- News item on octranspo.com
- Recorded message on the Para Transpo phone lines
- Email to Para Transpo stakeholder list
- Flyer distribution on Para Transpo minibuses
- If a customer has a question or needs help using the web form, what should they do?
Should customers have any questions or would like to provide feedback on the interim web forms, they are encouraged to send us a message via the e-mail provided on the web form.