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This article was published 9/9/2014 (2815 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The introduction of a digital fare system for Winnipeg Transit has been delayed again.
Transit director Dave Wardrop said the smart card system will now likely go into service in the early spring of 2015.
The Smart Card system will replace all paper tickets and transfers and bus passes with digital swipe cards, where riders can load either cash or specific number of rides unto the card.
The $18-million system was to be in place in the fall of 2013. That was pushed back to the spring of 2014 and then again to the beginning of 2015.
Wardrop continued to put the cause of the delay on problems with the digital system.
"We ran into some technical glitches and problems," Wardrop said of the new fare system testing. "We want to make sure we have it right. We want to make sure we have a system that is functioning properly and securely and has the confidence of the public."
Wardrop said other municipalities have encountered similar problems when introducing the digital fare system.
"This is extremely complicated technology, extremely sophisticated back-end e-commerce technology with different vendors," Wardrop told the public works committee, adding the project remains on budget.
Winnipeg Transit also announced buying 58 new low-floor transit buses from local manufacturer New Flyer Industries.
The public works committee morning approved the award of a $27.3 million contract for the 40-foot buses.
New Flyer beat out a bid from Nova Bus, a division of Volvo Group Canada.
Winnipeg Transit originally put out a tender for 64 buses. New Flyer put the price for the larger order at $30.17 million versus Nova Bus’ price of $31.19 million.
Transit said it opted to lower the number of buses in the order because the responding bids were higher than expected.
Funds for the bus purchase were set aside in the 2013 and 2014 transit capital budgets and surplus from transit’s 2012 capital budget.