Edmonton Transit installs 'tap-on tap-off' fare validators on 5 buses

Feb. 25, 2019: The City of Edmonton is spending billions of dollars to expand its LRT system and is hoping to increase the number of people who use public transit. But so far, passengers can only pay their fares with cash and as Sarah Kraus reports, it could be years before that changes.

Edmonton is one step closer to implementing a “tap-on tap-off” electronic payment system on city buses.

On Tuesday, Edmonton Transit Service shared photos of the new technology online and said those electronic fare validators had been installed on five ETS buses.

The five buses had scanners installed last week.

READ MORE: Edmonton Transit Service’s cash-only fare system lags behind other cities

“We are confirming design and installation requirements for the different types of buses in our fleet before putting the fare validators on our nearly 1,000 buses,” ETS explained in the Facebook post.

The scanners will be turned on when installation across the entire ETS fleet is done and pilot testing starts in 2020.

More information will be released closer to the launch.

Watch below (March 19): Edmonton City Council considers making changes to transit fares 

READ MORE: London transit passengers can now opt for stored value smart card

ETS Smart Fare will allow riders to pay for transit with a variety of methods, including credit cards, debit cards and smart devices.

Transit customers will be able to set up an account and buy day passes, multi-ride packages, monthly passes and other transit fare products.

READ MORE: Edmonton councillors back away from transit fare plan that would see price jump for seniors

Passengers will still be able to buy tickets using cash, if desired.

The Regional Smart Fare/Smart Bus project will see an electronic fare payment system implemented for Edmonton, St. Albert and Strathcona County transit systems.

The Smart Fare system would also allow for alternate and flexible fare options, like fare capping, pay-as-you-go, distance-based fares and best fares.

The possible fare options will have to be reviewed by Edmonton city council and undergo customer market research before they’re finalized.

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