Beginning February 2010, the city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada is launching a $2.9 million initiative to install contactless smart card technology on its entire bus fleet, according to The Star Phoenix.
Under the new system, riders will exclusively use smart cards called Go-Passes to pay for bus fare. As of Jan. 20, paper money and tickets will no longer be accepted as forms of payment.
Installation of the new fare boxes on buses began in November, but the system isn’t set to kick off until Feb. 1, by which time the transit department will have launched an ad campaign teaching the Saskatonians how to operate their new cards.
The new system is expected to help city officials automatically track patterns in bus activity, allowing for improved accuracy in route adjustment. Transit officials also hope electronic faring will help to eliminate fraud and reduce conflicts between drivers and riders.
Go-Passes will be renewable from month-to-month for long-term bus riders. Disposable day passes are also available, which expire after 24 hours.
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