Ride a bus in B.C.? You'll soon be able to tap to pay your fare | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ride a bus in B.C.? You'll soon be able to tap to pay your fare

FILE PHOTO - A passenger boards a B.C. Transit bus in this undated submitted photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C. Transit

Taking B.C. Transit bus is expected to become a little easier with the implementation of an electronic fare collection system.

The system was designed to replace technology and equipment, and instead will use a contactless tap payment method including a mobile app, debit card, credit card, mobile wallet and a reloadable smart card, according to a B.C. Transit media release.

The system will give riders the option of the best payment for their lifestyle and travel habits and is expected to remove barriers such as requiring riders to pre-purchase a transit pass or carrying exact change, B.C. Transit said.

Riders using the mobile app and smart card will be able to load a value balance to their account to be drawn from as they ride. Cash will continue to be accepted for riders who prefer to use it.

The digital payment options are expected to improve the transit experience by enabling interregional travel with one payment method, onboard cleanliness by reducing touch points, reducing the demand on transit operators, and increasing ridership by implementing promotions and new programs, B.C. Transit said.

B.C. Transit is working with Cubic Transportation Systems and the Umo platform to power the digital fare system.

READ MORE: Kamloops bus driver goes above and beyond to help senior struggling in snow

The system is funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and is being cost-shared with the Government of Canada. The total cost of the project is $23,200,000.

“We are excited to be sharing news of the transformational electronic fare collection system project that will make selecting transit as your mode of choice more convenient and accessible," B.C. Transit president and chief executive officer Erinn Pinkerton said in the release. "Whether someone is a daily rider, occasional rider, or haven’t taken their first trip yet, Umo will make their trip easier.” 

The fare system will be introduced in interregional routes in two phases. The app and smart card payment method will be implemented before credit card, debit card and mobile wallet options.

Victoria Regional Transit System was selected for the pilot project and riders there can expect the system to be in use by fall 2022.

Other transit systems and interregional routes throughout the province are scheduled to implement the digital fare include Kamloops, Kelowna Regional, North Okanagan Connector, South Okanagan Connector, South Okanagan-Similkameen, Vernon Regional and more. B.C. Transit doesn't say when the additional routes will be added.

For more information about the project, go to B.C. Transit's website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Emily Rogers or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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