The days of scrambling for change will soon be over for Greater Victoria bus riders, with BC Transit promising a new electronic fare collection system by fall.
The transit body plans to roll out the new system across the province, but has decided on Greater Victoria as its pilot site.
The change will come in two phases, the first of which will allow riders to pay with a mobile app and reloadable smart card, and the second giving them the option to pay with credit and debit cards or mobile wallets. Cash will continue to be accepted.
Residents who have taken transit in Metro Vancouver will recognize similar technology – TransLink’s Compass Card. The platform that powers that system was developed and is managed by Cubic Transportation Systems, whose Umo technology will be used in Greater Victoria and the rest of B.C.
Funding for the $23.2-million project comes from federal, provincial and municipal levels. The Government of Canada is contributing 50 per cent, while B.C. is contributing 40 per cent, and partnering municipalities are providing the remaining 10 per cent.
BC Transit said it hopes the new system encourages more people to take transit. Contactless payment will also reduce the demand on transit operators and improve overall service reliability, it said.
Following implementation in Greater Victoria, BC Transit plans to bring the changes to 33 other transportation systems around the province.
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