How to apply for the Affordable Transit Pass

Ontario Works Social Assistance Cheques

The October 1 cheque will not be mailed even if a collective agreement is reached between Canada Post and its letter carriers. 

Ontario Works recipients

Ontario Works recipients can pick up their October 1 monthly cheque at Carisma Church, 16 West Avenue South, Hamilton on the following days:

  • Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm
  • Friday, September 28, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm
  • ​Monday, October 1, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm

UPDATE: Ontario Works recipients who did not pick up their October 1 monthly cheque at Carisma Church are asked to speak with their case manager directly. 

Ontario Works recipients who regularly receive social assistance payments by direct deposit will continue to have their funds deposited into their bank account.

Monthly direct deposit statements and dental cards will continue to be mailed. 


Ontario Works payments to landlords have not been mailed to avoid cheques being held in the postal system.  Landlords can pick up their cheques at the Ontario Works office located at 2255 Barton Street East, Hamilton weekdays from 12 noon to 4 pm, starting Monday, September 24.  Please bring photo ID and a letter from the landlord authorizing you to pick up the cheque on their behalf. 

UPDATE: Ontario Works payments to landlords that were not picked up by the end of the day on October 1, 2018, have been placed in the mail.

Ontario Works payments and City of Hamilton payments to vendors will be continue to be mailed until a 72 Hour Notice of Intent to Strike has been issued.  If that occurs, cheques can be picked up at 120 King Street, 9th floor, Thursdays and Fridays, between 1 and 3 pm.

UPDATE: Effective October 2, 2018:

  • All new payments, direct deposit statements and dental cards to OW recipients will be placed in the mail following regular business processes.
  • All new payments to landlords and vendors will be placed in the mail following regular business processes.

Regular business processes will continue until further information concerning a possible strike is received and assessed for impact to our recipients, landlords and vendors.

For more information, please call Ontario Works at 905-546-4800.

Apply for the Affordable Transit Pass 

  1. Fill out the Affordable Transit Pass application form (PDF, 80 KB). One application form can be used for you and your spouse or partner. If you need help completing this application, please call the number below to schedule an appointment.

  2. Supporting documents along with your application:

    Low income: If you are applying as a low income you must include your last year’s Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency and four recent, consecutive pay stubs. If you are not able to find last year’s Notice of Assessment you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 to get another copy. 

    Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): Your case manager must have your current employment and earning information.

  3. Drop off or mail your completed application form along with the Notice of Assessment and four week's pay stubs for each applicant on the form to:

    City of Hamilton, Special Supports program
    Affordable Transit Pass Program
    2255 Barton Street East, Hamilton, Ontario L8H 7T4

    Your application will be reviewed and a letter will be mailed indicating whether you have been approved or not approved and the reasons why. This may take up to five business days upon receipt of the application.

How to purchase your Affordable Transit Pass

If your application is approved:

  • Show your approval letter at the HSR Customer Service Centre located at 36 Hunter Street East in the Hamilton GO Station. Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The ATP program will be set up on a PRESTO card. You will be required to pay for the initial $6 card fee if you do not already have a card. The PRESTO card is yours to keep and can be used even if you are no longer eligible for ATP.
  • Purchase your pass between the 20th of the month prior to the pass your need until the 13th of the month your pass if for.For example: You can go anytime between March 20 and April 13 to purchase your April pass.

    HSR staff will program your PRESTO card with the ATP concession/ program which allows you to purchase the pass at half price during the approval period. Once the ATP concession/ program has been set and you have purchased your first monthly pass, you may then pay online at to load the remaining months or go to an alternate location such as any Fortino's Supermarkets in Hamilton, Hamilton City Hall or the Dundas Municipal Centre.
  • When your approval period ends, your PRESTO card will default to an Adult fare card. You will need to re-apply for the program before your approval expires.
  • PRESTO is not available on DARTS. You will need to purchase a paper pass each month in person at the HSR Customer Service Office, 36 Hunter Street East.  Your approval letter must be shown each time you purchase a pass. 


For more information

Affordable Transit Pass

Phone: 905-546-2590

Questions about PRESTO

HSR Fare Administration Office
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1882

Card loading and payment options by telephone:

PRESTO Call Centre
Phone: 1-877-378-6123