Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Swipe your Smart Card next year to ride bus

Transit airs rollout plans for long-delayed system

  • Print
New digital fare boxes on Winnipeg Transit buses will soon be taking Smart Cards, likely starting next spring.

Enlarge Image

New digital fare boxes on Winnipeg Transit buses will soon be taking Smart Cards, likely starting next spring.

The digital age is evolving slowly for Winnipeg Transit.

The introduction of an electronic fare system, known as Smart Card, will begin by the end of winter.

Transit director David Wardrop said the Smart Card passes will be introduced first for seniors, most likely by the end of March or April.

"We're rolling it out in a phased approach," Wardrop said, adding the slow pace is deliberate to ensure the new technology doesn't overwhelm Transit facilities or riders.

"We're looking at a potential of an excess of 250,000 cards. We want to make sure we get it right and mitigate any of the growing pains we may or may not encounter."

The traditional paper tickets and passes will be replaced by an $18-million system based on a swipe card, where a variety of fare options will be "loaded" onto the Smart Card.

The cards will be available for purchase exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and 7-Eleven stores, but also at select retailers across the city not served by those stores.

The first cards will cost riders $5, but that will be refunded if they register and "reload" their cards within a certain time, Wardrop said.

Because it's a digital system, registered riders can reload their cards online.

Replacing lost cards will cost $5, but if riders are registered, the remaining unused value will not be lost.

Once the Smart Cards are fully in place, the only other payment options will be exact-fare coins and coin tokens, purchased in bulk and distributed by social service agencies and some schools. Paper tickets will be accepted, but Winnipeg Transit will no longer issue them.

The digital-fare system was first proposed in 2003. It was supposed to be in place this fall but delays pushed it back several months.

Wardrop said Winnipeg Transit will bring other rider groups on board in stages -- secondary and post-secondary student riders will likely be included at the end of the school year and before the start of the next semester.

There will be a transition period when the Smart Card is expanded to each rider group, Wardrop said. That is to ensure existing passes for each category are exhausted before riders must use the digital cards, he said.

"We're testing the system now to make sure we get all the bugs out of it. So far, it's gone quite well."

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2013 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Eddie the fat cat has dropped two pounds on diet

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support a proposed ban on tanning beds for youth under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google